Sep 11, 2011
I was teaching school, 4th grade, on the day our country was attacked. Before school started, (it was around 8 a.m. here in Idaho) I watched with other teachers the t.v. in the office. It was shocking, unbelievable when the 2nd plane hit and we all knew it wasn't a freak accident. Confused, we all went to our classes when the bell rang. If any of the students knew anything, they didn't say a thing until after first recess where the news out on the playground spread like wildfire. As the kids came pouring into my room they asked if I'd heard about the attacks. By then the Pentagon had also been hit. I told them I had and I stopped my normal lesson to listen to their concerns. One little girl, Rachael, asked, "are we all going to die?" I reassured her we would be okay and that we had the greatest country in the world that would take care of us all. I told them it reminded me of that attack of Pearl Harbor and someone asked, "What is Pearl Harbor?" So we had a mini lesson on World War II and talked about Hitler. Someone asked, "Who was Hitler?" I explained and then talked about Osama Bin Laden and others who were the bullies of the world. During the discussion I thought about my son who was so close to Washington D.C serving a church mission and hoped he was safe.
Little did I know how much more personal this day would mean to me. Already concerned about what was happening in our country , and about my son whom I wanted to hear from, the word came that one of our own former neighbors hadn't been accounted for at the Pentagon where he worked. The next day the word came that he'd been in the part of the Pentagon that had been hit and he was killed. Our small little community wept for his family. A week later or so he was remembered at a military funeral here at our local church. All of the streets, including those that led from the freeway were lined with American flags that gently waved in the breeze as a tribute to him as he was brought back home to his final place of rest. Sad, sad, sad it was.
As for my son...he'd been in a meeting a few blocks from the Pentagon so he coudn't get out because of traffic until that evening. He finally got a phone call through to us to reassure us that he was okay.
A day I'll never forget.