Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th Memories

As an adult, we can tell you exactly where we were standing, what we were doing, and who we were with on the day the World Trade Center was attacked. The Twin Towers were destroyed, the Pentagon damaged, Pennsylvania rocked with the bravery of average citizens, and the world watched as Americans stood together with pride not fear. However, the children in my room were not born yet. So, I wanted to make sure they understood the facts, and could make a connection to the experience in a way they have never been able to do. 

So, at 9:00 a.m. this morning we had an amazing opportunity to speak with a woman who lives in New York and was willing to share her story of that fateful day 12 years ago. Mary Beth Easley, explained what she saw, felt, heard, tasted and smelled as she and her husband frantically ran around trying to locate and collect their children from various schools.


She showed us the fear, the pain, the panic, and the hope that came with the US Army planes flying overhead. She explained how the shoe stores were allowing people to come in and grab shoes because all public transportation was shut down. Therefore, people were running and walking miles to get to their loved ones.

Mary shared that the resiliency of the New York people is amazing, and how the community gathered together to help take care of each other.  The sounds, the smell of smoke and settling dust kept their windows sealed for another 30-60 days. They had to stand in line and show an ID to get back to their homes. They had tanks in their neighborhood, and one of her children refused to remove her shoes to sleep, fearing she may need to run again.

The students were captivated, and a very respectful audience. They asked their questions, and were able to share in a moment they may never get the opportunity to do again. Our world became a little bit smaller, our community a little bit bigger, and our connection to an event in history was established. I could not be more thankful for the lesson in perspective we were all shown today.

Carrye uses Mary's daughter's drawing for inspiration.
In fact, we decided to do a family project at home instead of homework tonight. A project that would bring the kids and their parents closer, and allow them to have quality time sharing about their days. This was inspired by the beautiful message Mary Beth left for us today. "Cherish each day, and be thankful for each moment." She said to be thankful for your family and spend as much time with them as you can.

Thinking hard about what 9/11 means to us
Writing and drawing what our hearts are feeling after our Skype.
Today was incredible as we made some new discoveries about who we are as Americans. We learned that when we are faced with challenges we do not cower, nor do we slink away in fear. Instead we band together as "brothers," take care of each other, and fight with pride for our freedoms. We are thankful for the opportunity to speak with a survivor, and to honor the victims, their families and the soldiers still 
fighting for our freedom.
The silence was amazing in this room at this point. 

Words and Images filling our brains and papers.

Posing for a Red, White and Blue picture

Oh Beautiful for Gorgeous Smiles