Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My 9/11 History Lesson

It was a normal day. School was just under way. I was 30 minutes into my choir rehearsal and one of my seniors came in and said, " Hey Mr. Wink! A plane just flew into the World Trade Center." I thought nothing of it, but little did I know the most surreal event in my life was about to begin.

When 1st period was over, I went to the music store on my conference to pick up some supplies, and when I walked in, I saw 20 people standing in front of a TV speechless. They watched in utter disbelief as the details slowly emerged. As we watched the tower burn, another plane came into the frame and  pierced the side of the second tower.

"Oh my Gosh!"  "What the in world?" and other exclamatory statements erupted in the room. It was now clear that we were under attack. Feelings of rage, confusion, and sorrow went round and round in my mind. 

My mind went immediately to my wife and daughter at home and my son in 2nd grade. Do they know what's happening?  Are they safe? I needed to know. 

As I left the music store, I went back to school. Learning ceased, and we started a new lesson of coming to grips that we were now living in a brave, new world. There are no words that describe how you feel when your country is falling apart. Students needed consoling, reassurance and prayers that we were going to be ok. It is very difficult to convince students that your country is ok when you don't  know that for yourself. 

Watching panic and fear spread throughout my East Texas town, I knew that we would never be the same. Even though I was 1000 miles away from Ground Zero, a little part of me died that day.   

What I find interesting is that with each year, a little part of my memory of that fateful day dies. My hope is that this post will serve as an important reminder to others that we are historians and we must share our 9-11 story for 2 purposes. First, we must never forget, and second, our children deserve to hear the 9-11 story through the lens of our eyes.  I hope that you will take time to teach your students this very important lesson today. 

Never Forget 9/11/01

God Bless America!

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