I woke up extra early this morning and tried to post something to commemorate this day. I wrote a few things, erased them, wrote some more and kept erasing. I, like many others, remember exactly where I was that morning as I watched the second plane hit the tower and later as I watched both towers collapse. I was lucky enough not to know anyone lost that day, either in New York, the Pentagon or on any of the planes. However, I still have a hard time seeing those images and thinking about all those people who lost their lives and those survivors who lost loved ones, friends and family.
Today I had to teach 9/11 as a history lesson. I found this challenging and emotionally trying. I can not yet look at the events that unfolded that day as history - they are still too close, too painful, too fresh. Challenging too was that the students I was teaching were a mere 10 and 11 years old on that morning. Those that do have memories have vague ones, others have no memory at all. I was both sad and happy about this. I was glad that these students did not have the same emotional memories that I have from that day. But I was sad because they also were finding it difficult to even sympathize, let alone empathize, with those whose lives were changed forever 5 years ago. They made amazingly mature comments about how sad it was to see people commodify this date, taking advantage of other peoples' pain by selling photos, flags and continuously replaying the harsh images. They noted, poetically, that the great thing about the days, weeks and months after the tragedy was that everyone felt like family and pulled together but that now that closeness seems to have been forgotten. They chastised all of us (me included) who have ever thought that this tragedy has made us appreciate our lives more because, according to these amazing young people, we should all ALWAYS appreciate our lives and it should never take a tragedy for us to recognize how lucky we all are.
With or without detailed memories, each student had a perspective that opened all of our eyes just a bit wider. I admit that I have often thought back on this day and found myself thinking how grateful I am to have a happy, healthy family, a wonderful group of supportive friends and an amazing, brave and dedicated boyfriend. I still thought this today and will continue to think these things every day from here on out. As my students so appropriately pointed out, living each day like this is truly the only way to honor the memory of 9/11. Included in this for me is a continued thank you and show of support for all the men and women serving our country so proudly and all the families that stand by and support those soldiers, sailors and marines.
Thank you Mike and I love you!
p.s. - if you are interested, The Chronicles of Narmya has reposted what I think is a pretty touching memorial on his blog. It's a big file, so you have to let it load, but I think it's worth it. Click here