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Never Forget - 9/11 Friday


Re: Never Forget - 9/11 Friday

  • I get the sentiment behind the phrase "never forget".  The cynic in me says "as if I ever could". Big things and little, mundane things are all tied to 9/11, every single day.  But I understand the use of the phrase.

    The kids and I got home from our annual pizza dinner at my parents' house a little while ago (I think I shared my family's 9/11-pizza tradition a couple years ago) and I tried to explain the significance of the day on the drive over, but found I really couldn't beyond "it was a sad day for our city, a lot of Pop Pop's friends went to heaven".   I'm usually more eloquent with them but words failed me.  Maybe it's their ages, maybe just the circumstances surrounding the day.

    Although the strangest part of my day was work.  A high school is a wild place to be on 9/11.  All of the adults in the building remember the day vividly, and not a single student was even born.  There’s this divide, and it’s not like they’re infants and we’re in our seventies, it’s only one generation for some of us.  This year I’m doing some heavy behavioral work with certain students, and pushing into classrooms to assist special education teachers with the emotional piece.  I was reviewing appropriate and inappropriate with a 14-year-old boy yesterday, and today after the teacher led a lesson on 9/11 (it was a Social Studies class) the student said he was going to text his friends “Happy September 11th!” along with the airplane emoji.  I said (I think through my teeth) “that’s an example of inappropriate” and then had to duck out because I was starting to tear up, and I very rarely cry in front of students.  Just a weird day at work.  I can’t believe schools and other businesses are even open today. 

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited September 2020
    Well, I was a kid when Reagan was shot and the Challenger space shuttle crashed, and in both cases (elementary school for the first and high school for the second), the principal of my school came on the PA system to announce them. They didn't feel particularly real or "in the moment" to me, probably because I was a kid.

    On 9/11/2001 I was an adult living in Queens. Two days before was my birthday, and as a gift I got a membership at the 92nd Street Y gym, which I joined on 9/10. I was planning to use it the next day.

    I was between jobs at the time and turned on my computer on the morning of 9/11 to job hunt. I opened my email app where I saw an email from my mother in which she said she heard from a friend that airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center. 

    The WTC was important in my family because in the years before my grandfather's death in 1977, he worked there. It had opened a few years before that, so he was probably one of the first people to work there. When I was a teenager, I visited New York (didn't live there at the time), visited the WTC and took a photo from the roof. It probably still exists somewhere.

    I turned on the TV. One tower had already collapsed. A few seconds later the other, enveloped in flames, collapsed.

    A tremendous sense of my security and personal identity died that day.

    I was a student at Pace University and was about to start an internship. It was delayed because of 9/11. A few days after 9/11 I had to go to the downtown campus to deal with some paperwork. The smell reached up from Ground Zero up to City Hall. It has always stayed with me. The semester had actually just started, and one of my classmates lost a brother in one of the towers of the WTC.
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