Watching: American Football
Drinking: Dr. Pepper
I know I haven't posted in a long time, but I figured this was a good reason to do so.
Nine years ago, though I can hardly believe it was that long, I was in a portable classroom at Central Park Elementary School. It was Mrs. Christensen's room, the last one in the front row of portables. I don't specifically remember the work I was doing or who I was sitting with or even who I was talking to. All I know was another teacher came into the room and pulled Mrs. Christensen off to the corner by the door. They whispered for a long time. Long enough for us to know something was going on.
When our teacher finished speaking to the other she told us to get back to work, that everything was fine and then proceeded to turn on the television, turn it around to face only her and turned the volume down so we couldn't hear anything. And still we were expected to work. I may have only been in fifth grade, I may not have been able to fully understand what was happening, but I did know something important happened and we weren't being told for some reason.
Of course we continued best we could in class. I remember leaving the portable, I don't remember if it was for lunch, specials, or to switch classes (Which we only did once anyway). Of course mixing with other kids the rumors started. "A plane crashed." "A plane hit a building" "Two planes ran into each other." "Two planes hit a building" But of course we didn't know the nature of the plane crash in question. We knew there were planes and buildings involved but for all we knew it was just an accident.
Eventually the school went into lock down. I can't say I fully blame the teachers for not telling us anything. Some of the children may have had family in New York or even more specifically a family member who was in the towers or was a police officer or firefighter. So it was probably best that they didn't tell everyone. Kids would have panicked and we didn't have cellphones at the time.
My mother had come to pick me up, because she thought I shouldn't be in school since it was a rather important event. However the school wasn't letting mom pick me up for some reason. Recall my mom walking to the portable, opening the door and getting me to take me home. She explained to me what was going on and for the first time ever I was aware of history happening around me. I knew that this was something no one would ever forget and would be talked about for years.
I remember very little after I got home. I know I got angry at the news for replaying the footage so much and making people sad. Still to this day I can't watch any documentaries without crying or getting terribly upset. I didn't lose anyone but it is just something that impacted me so much. I've been to Ground Zero twice since it had happened and both times I can't help but get upset at all the lives we lost. I have had the opportunity to speak to Police Officers who had survived and hear their personal stories. I am grateful for that and for the fact they are still working to protect us.
May something like this never happen in this, or any other country again.