Could it be seven years already since that day of the most horrible attack ever? Every year at this time, I still see, in my mind, a replay of what we were doing and what we saw on television. I was teaching in junior high, just a normal lesson, when the principal made an announcement that we should turn on the television. I don't remember which channel, but it was just after the first plane hit. Everything was still confusing, but we could see the smoke from the building. Suddenly, a second plane came into view, and we all watched in horror as it struck the second tower. Some students started to cry. The horror increased, though, when a camera on the ground showed people jumping out of the windows. That was edited out of later replays, but none of us who saw the first run could edit it out of our heads. Some of my students were in shock. For most of the day, there was no thought of trying to get back to regular lessons. We left the television on, listening as more details came in and discussing the whole tragedy. Of course the students were asking why. Why would anyone do such a thing? How could this happen? Their world changed that day, as it did for all of us. But I felt especially concerned for the students, and when they discovered that there was a school nearby, their fears escalated even more. I remember praying a lot for the right answers for them as well as ability to comfort and assure them. After school, some of us teachers gathered to pray for the rescuers, the families, and for survivors.
As time went on, I incorporated this disaster in my lessons, as I'm sure many other English and History teachers across the country did. We wrote letters to firefighters and did many writing assignments about the events and their personal thoughts. My students were all from other countries, so I let them see the news reports about the international makeup of the tenants: 450 tenants came from 26 different countries. So they realized this was a disaster that affected the entire world. I hope that the impact from that day has made them better citizens and more caring adults. I hope that we never forget those who died and the families who were left behind.