9/11 Tribute

I was turning into the parkinglot at work. The guy on the radio was hysterical and I was certain I misunderstood him. He screamed three times, “A plane has crashed into the Twin Towers! A plane has crashed into the Twin Towers! A plane has crashed into the Twin Towers!”

I got out of my car, went straight to my classroom and turned the television set on. I hadn’t misunderstood the man on the radio. I sat down on the edge of my desk and watched, and listened, and cried.

A teacher walked past, backed up, looked at me then rushed to my side. She demanded, “Are you alright?” In answer I pointed at the TV set. She put her arm around me and asked, “Do you have family in New York?” I shook my head and told her I didn’t. She stepped away from me, raised her hands in disgust and said, “Then why are you crying?” The only thing I could think to answer was, “Why aren’t you?”

Of course I had to pull it together for my students. An emergency teacher’s meeting was called and we were told we weren’t to make any personal statements until after the Principal addressed the school. The students realized from the way the grownups were acting that something horrible had happened but they didn’t know what. They were very quiet and subdued.

Finally the Principal’s voice piped into the room and she talked about the tradgety and the horror — but to the kids it was still just words. However, after her programmed “board of education approved” speech, she told the teachers to turn the television to the in-house channel and allow the kids to view the approved audio/visual clip.

It was actually the same clip all of America watched over and over again — nothing sanitized. Just before the video clip eneded and the television screen went blue, the newscaster explained that the men who rammed the plane into the Towers did it because they thought God wanted them to.

My students were silent, still staring at the blue screen. Many of them were crying and holding each other’s hands. I knew questions would come. I wondered if I’d be able to answer them. Into this silence someone whispered, “Did he say those men thought God wanted this?” I answered — just as softly — “Yes. They believe they have to kill their enemies to earn their way into heaven.” And a youngman named Jonathan replied loud, clear and matter-of-factly. “Well, they’ll be mightly surprised then when they wake up in hell.”

Casting Crowns: Praise You in This Storm

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 9th, 2006 at 5:39 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “9/11 Tribute”

  1. September 9th, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    FRIDAY'S CHILD says:

    This video really gets me in the heart. Up to the present time, I still can’t understand why such things should happen to so many innocent lives all just because of people who never cared for other’s lives rather than their own.
    Thanks for visiting and contributing to the tribute.

  2. September 10th, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    Donnak says:

    That is beautiful. I am speechless. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. September 14th, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    Cindy says:

    Awesome Tribute! Thank you for sharing, this was just beautiful!!!

  4. October 15th, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    Lorna says:

    thank you. your tears counted!