I was in Ms. Little’s fourth grade classroom. Another teacher came in and turned on the television. Excitement grew from my classmates. But more teachers came in, then a few more, then teachers filled up half the room. 24 adult eyes were locked on the screen. Some were crying, some covered their mouths with their hands, the tone had changed. We saw the adults were upset and started to ask, “what’s going on?” But they wouldn’t explain what happened, just “something bad.” A few hours later we were sent home.
I got off the bus and walked inside the house with my younger brothers. My Mom stared at the T.V. like my teachers. She was sobbing. She looked at me and my younger brothers but was unable to catch her breath. Scared, my brothers began to cry too. It was the first time we had seen an adult vulnerable. She grabbed us and squeezed. I remember when she let us go my shirt was damp from tears.
After 9/11 I remember active duty soldiers patrolling the airport with M-16’s, I remember passing out American Flag pins my Grandma made out of beads and safety pins to classmates and teachers, I remember yellow ribbon magnets everywhere on cars that read “support the troops”. I remember an enemy tried to break the American spirit and failed.
Photo Credit: Peter Keegan