Happy Fri-YAY, coming to you on the 10th day of the month for 10 on the 10th 09.2021. Last month, we talked about 10 life-long learning experiences. You can read the ways I have tried to keep my brain sharp, here. Let me just say, it’s a BIG JOB. The month before we shared 10 favorite summer foods. My post was complete with photos and recipes!! Today’s theme is soberer than most of the 10 on the 10th themes for today we are sharing 10 memories or thoughts on 9-11.
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10 ON THE 10TH
We have 3 more 10 on the 10th posts before the year is over. I am debating – always, it seems – about whether to continue blogging and whether to commit to participating and hosting any blogging series for 2022. I am such an erratic blogger. Erratic soul. No 2 days ever look the same for me. I long for structure and stability and routine. But the more I crave it, the more it escapes me. Such is LIFE. I know. But when things are upside down over here, it’s hard for me to sit down and write a blog post.
If you are interested in participating in this year’s remaining posts or just curious about the proposed prompts, here they are.
Ha ha. Good thing I looked these up. What in the world was I thinking for October. Oh, costumes? And dressing up in general, I guess. Hmmm. Can’t wait to see what November’s posts look like. Love seeing everyone’s photos. One of the best things about blogging is peeking into folks’ lives, their homes, closets, relationships.
Another Memorable Day
When I was a young adult, the day that most of us remembered clearly was the day John F. Kennedy was shot. I was 5 years old. We were living in Boston. Our TV was on and we were getting ready to go somewhere, my mother, little sister Valerie and I. My mother remembers that we were going to a birthday party. But today, realizing that the day and time were a Friday, 11.22.1963 at 12:30 CST, makes me think that my memory that we were headed to the dentist is probably more accurate. I don’t think there would have been a party mid-afternoon on a school day.
Anyway, I was about to turn off the TV when the news broke in to report that the President (I know that word isn’t capitalized but should be) had been shot. We watched for a few moments in horror before leaving the house. For the days that followed, we were glued to the television for President Johnson’s oath of office, images of the mourners paying homage to Kennedy at the Capitol Rotunda, and finally the funeral. I will never forget watching in real time little John-John salute his father’s casket. An iconic image even to this day.
10 on the 10th 09.2021
I think most adults nowadays can remember where they were when news came of the first plane, Flight 11, crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, between the 93rd and 99th floors. It is hard to fathom that children 20 years and younger were not yet born on this grim day in our country’s history. It has been 7 years since I retired, and even then, my fifth graders were too young to have experienced 9-11. Every year from 2001 until I retired, though, I talked to my students about 9-11. About the vicious power of hatred and intolerance. This year, I hope to read a very simple book, to Lucia and Camila, and maybe even to Cadence via Facetime. These are the books I will be sharing with my grandbabies.
I have also checked out these 2 elementary chapter books from the library. Because I am a super slow reader, it may be long after 9-11 before I finish reading them but I intend to. Also just finished reading The Only Plane in the Sky: an oral history of 9-11 by Garrett M. Graff. And I recommend September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right by
There are wonderful resources available through the 9-11 Memorial and Museum, here. Including good information about speaking with children about terrorism. With all of the current news unfolding daily from Afghanistan, we need to remember our children are very much aware of what is going on, too. Parents need not avoid these difficult discussions. They should allow children to direct the conversations and ask questions. And “share what is being done to keep them, their family members, and their friends safe.” [source]
You know what they say…
With that, here are some memories from 09.11.2001.
10 Memories From 9-11
This is a timeline of how my 9-11 played out. For a timeline of the historic events of the day, click here.
- I heard about the first plane crashing into the north tower while dressing for work. If I remember correctly, I was about to leave the house and heard the breaking news on the radio as I brushed my teeth. I thought it was some kind of sick joke. Like a radio prank of some sort.
- Fifteen minutes later, I walked into the front office at school to sign in, the secretaries were talking about the first plane. I realized then that it had really happened. My principal asked me to turn on the large screen TV in the library.
- I had just gotten the television turned on when the news reported that a second plane had flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center, between floors 77 and 85. The principal, assistant principal and some of the office staff were in the library watching with me. We felt sure there was some mix up with the first plane, pilot error. But when the news came of the second crash, we were dumbfounded. Teachers began ducking into the library before heading to the playground to pick up their students.
Listening and Looking
- The principal made the decision that the children needed to report to their classrooms immediately and would not leave them the entire day. Not for P.E., not for lunch. Lunch would be delivered to the rooms. I remember peeking out the door the led from the main building to the classroom wings of the school. Looking up at the sky, listening. Listening and looking for planes.
- My daughters were both in high school. Lauren was a sophomore in a science magnet school about 15 miles across town, very near the U.S.-Mexico border. Brennyn was a senior at our neighborhood high school, several miles from where I worked. Brennyn had a cell phone and Lauren did not. I was able to check on Brennyn but not Lauren. Never was a day so long or 15 miles so far.
- Once it was determined that the country was under attack we began hearing local reports about concern that the border would be a potential target. Ft. Bliss was one of the biggest military installations in the country and it, too, was a possible target.
Longing to Love My Loved Ones
- My parents were driving from Memphis to El Paso for a visit when they heard the news of the first plane crash. When they learned about the second crash they turned the car around and headed back toward home. They were able to call me to let me know of their decision. As much as I really wanted them to be here with me, I understood why they thought they needed to be home. But my instinct was to gather everyone I loved as close as I could and keep them there.
- Most of the day I spent alternating between watching the news on the big screen TV in the library and trying to concentrate enough to get some work done on the computer. And calling everyone I loved to tell them so.
- I don’t remember picking up Lauren from school, but I am sure I was glad to have her in my arms and to know she was ok. Pretty sure we started talking about getting her a phone as soon as possible. I don’t remember fixing dinner or eating it. Afterward, though, Brennyn and I had to go to Glamor Shots for her senior pictures. The photographer had the television on and I watched the planes fly into that building over and over and over again while Brennyn put on a brave face for her photographs. My parents called to say they were home. I wanted to get back home, climb into bed with my babies on either side of me, and hide under the covers and make the world go away.
- Somehow the sun came up again the next morning. We all got out of bed, and carried on. We flew flags, wore red, white and blue, played patriotic songs, found ways to love our country and our neighbors better. Americans came together over the tragedy that was 9-11 much as they had 60 years before during the second world war.
I had several posts I needed to share today. Earlier, I published this month’s Where Bloggers Live. I need to get a Thankful Thursday post written. And I have a very special guest post written by my friend Leanne at Cresting the Hill to share with you, too. But I am not sure what tomorrow will bring. The 20th anniversary of 9-11. With all the turmoil and tragedy in Afghanistan in the past 3 weeks, I worry what we will wake up to…tomorrow.
If the sun comes up like it always does, I want to make tomorrow count. Maybe make it a day of random acts of kindness. Or of loving my family in some special way. How are you going to make tomorrow count?
What do you remember of this day 20 years ago? Where were you when you heard that our world was changing before our eyes? Won’t you share in a comment or link up your 10 on the 10th post below.
I put together this playlist on Spotify of some of my favorite songs that were born of this day in history. Thought I would share with you.
Thank you for spending some of your day with me. Praying for our soldiers, past and present, and their families, our country, our leaders.
Hugs and kisses,