I remember September 11, 2001 like it happened yesterday.
I was student teaching in 4th grade.
I wore a lavender quarter length, v-neck sweater from Express to school that day.
And a long, black skirt.
Our team sat down to plan after we dropped our kids off at specials.
The secretary walked in and told us there was a plane crash at one of the Twin Towers. Someone on that 4th grade team had family in New York or knew someone who worked at the Twin Towers.
We turned on the TV.
5 minutes later, the 2nd plane slammed into the 2nd tower.
And then we froze.
And then we cried as we saw a second screen pop up in the corner of the the TV showing the explosion at the Pentagon.
We were told to go back to our classrooms as if nothing happened so that we wouldn’t cause the kids to panic.
We were terrified.
Parents started coming in by the dozens to take their kids home.
An emergency staff meeting was called after school.
I don’t remember everything that was said, but I remember that NO ONE said a word.
We were told to leave and go be with our families. I had NO family in town and I was so scared. I remember thinking, “What if I never see them again?”
I shook in fear as I drove the 45 minutes back to my apartment.
There was so much uncertainty.
I hugged my roommate when I got home and we cried together.
We couldn’t stand to be alone, so we went over to our best guy friend's apartment.
We ordered pizza, but we couldn’t eat a bite.
We watched the 9/11 coverage all night, went home, and fell asleep with wet eyes and heavy hearts.
I remember going to church the Sunday after 9/11 and it was standing room only. The sanctuary was filled with sad and worried people wondering if this was the beginning of the end and looking for comfort and reassurance.
On September 11th, 2001, life as I knew it changed forever. More so for some than others.
Lives were lost. Heroes were born. Hearts were changed.
It’s 10 years later and I still remember it like it was yesterday.
I will never forget.
And I will FOREVER be grateful for the men and women who so selflessly sacrifice for the freedom that we enjoy and too often take for granted today. Those brave men and women…and their families…are in my prayers today and always. And the families who lost their loved ones 10 years ago continue to be on my heart and in my prayers today as well.
May we never forget.