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Teachers: The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is fast approaching. Pause to reflect and share your memories of the days following the tragedy.

Comments: 6

I was working in a FECEP classroom and my husband was working at the Pentagon. I received a phone call from him telling me a plane had just hit the first tower. Then he said another plane hit the second tower and he had to go. When I was told a plane had hit the Pentagon, I remember the numbness that washed over me as though it was yesterday. I didn't know until many hours later that my husband survived because he was changing office spaces that day and had just left the impact area moments before the plane hit. He had been talking to a friend who was killed. He went back into the impact area and saved the life of a Navy lieutenant. Our lives were forever changed.

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Angela Workman
Woodbridge, VA

I remember being in the middle of tying my tie as the world changed in front of me on the television. My neighbor called to tell me what was happening, but I knew. Then, the Pentagon was hit. Like some fool who, for a moment, thought he had some control over the situation, I ran around the house yelling at my wife, toddler son, and two dogs for the government to shut down the airports. By then, the FAA had done so. Now it was time to face my students. The ride to school was foggy, both literally and metaphorically. Lesson plans were put aside. It was time for the mother of all teachable moments.

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Steve McDougall
Salinas Valley Federation of Teachers Local 1020
Salinas, CA

2001 was the year of my retirement from a 28 year career as a school psychologist. I remember the brillance of the day and how happy I was to have the time to leave my car at the service garage and to walk home. My world was cast into confusion and choas as I learned that part of it was disintrgrating at the World Trade Center. Soon, my thoughts collected on the students at my former school districts. Who was there to lead a Disaster Response Team? Who would rally responsible adults to minister to scared children and panicked adults? I was tempted to call and volunteer but that impulse felt "too late", as if the world was already gone.

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Judy Harwood
Alden Central School
Lancaster, NY

I was teaching at a school on the Northwest side of Chicago on September 11, 2001. What I remember most was that some days after the event, I was attempting to have an open discussion with some sixth graders when a young girl asked me, "Why do they hate us so much?" I couldn't answer the question at the time, but since then, I've had plenty of time to contemplate it. And still, all I know is that when people aren't free and don't have their basic needs met they sometimes act in terrible ways. We have to strive to fill basic needs,including the need for truth. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that

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Gwen Ginocchio
CTU Chicago Teachers Union
Chicago, IL

In April of 2001, I took my theater students from Point Pleasant High School, in WV to New York City. We visited all the wonderful sites in New York and of course went past the tallest buildings...the twin towers. On September of that year,I was in my theater class,when a teacher ran into my room and told me to turn on the tv. There my students and I witnessed the second plane hit the tower and explode. To say that we all were horrified is an understatement. We all cried and supported each other the best we could. The attack was personal to us!Seeing the pain on my students'faces is forever etched in my mind.On that day innocence was lost!

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margaret kaylor
mason AFT
west columbia, WV

I remember going down to the cafeteria on my break and popping in to say 'Hi!' to our cooks and seeing 2 of them on their cell phones and the radio just announcing, "A plane has just flown into the second tower!". I had no idea what was going on, so I stood and listened for awhile. It didn't take long for me to figure it out. We stood and listened together and said a prayer for all those people whose lives were destroyed in those short minutes, not realizing that we were actually praying for ourselves as well.

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Sheri Walters
OCFT
Oregon, OH

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