As a child growing up, I remember hearing adults talk about where they were when they heard President Kennedy was shot. It was a moment they would never forget. Little did I realize that I would have my own story to tell, one that was every bit as lasting as the previous generation’s story.
September 11, 2001 was a day like any other day for me. I was a kindergarten teacher in Texas, mother of an almost 2 year old, and wife of a husband who traveled several days a week. I was very fortunate to work on a team of teachers that was very supportive in every way possible. With a husband that traveled so frequently and family that lived in other states, they often helped by filling in gaps for me.
When the news first broke about the plane hitting the first tower, I was in the middle of teaching a lesson. The special ed. teacher that I worked with came hustling in my room with a worried look on her face, and asked if I knew where my husband was that day. All my friends knew that my husband’s travel schedule was never set in stone. He could show up for work and get sent to X, Y, or Z city. This teacher remembered how upset I was the day of the Oklahoma City bombing. I couldn’t reach my husband that day and didn’t know if he was there (OKC) or not. I said I thought he was in town today, but I was going to call to make sure. Thankfully, he answered right away.
My husband was supposed to be in NYC when this happened. He would have been on the top 2 floors of the Tower 2 in a breakfast meeting the morning of September 11th, except he couldn’t find a early enough flight. He was driving to the airport to catch a flight to NYC when he heard the news of the first tower falling. We were one of the “almost happened” stories that you heard about on the news shows after this happened.
One of the things that impressed me when I watched the horrific images on the news that day was all of the first responders rushing to the building while everyone else was running away from the building. Most of the time when we hear about news, it is after the event, it is not watching something currently taking place. There were so many unknowns. How long would the structure stay standing? If two planes have hit it, will there be a third? So many unknowns . . . yet, the first responders showed exactly what a hero is in every sense of the word. Hard word, courage, mercy, compassion, team work, selflessness, and the list could go on and on. Patriot Day, is the perfect day, to show your local heroes your appreciation for all they do for us. You can do this many different ways.
*Write letters or make cards of appreciation