I didn't know anyone who was in the World Trade Center on September 11, or at the Pentagon, or in the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I was teaching in Lousville that year, 3rd grade in a Catholic school. The 2nd and 3rd grade teachers were scheduled for an inservice at a Catholic school in a part of Louisville I was unfamiliar with. I was running late, and I was lost, so coincidentally I was still in my car, frantically looking for this place when the first report came over the radio.
I remember thinking, "What an idiot! Some pilot in a plane wasn't paying attention and hit the World Trade Center!". I didn't think much more about it, until about 45 minutes later, when people in my training session started getting cell phone calls: This one had a daughter in New York, that one had a friend on a flight to somewhere, was it the one that crashed? The poor speaker gradually lost control of anyone's attention. She called a break and about half the people just outright left.
Shortly thereafter we began to hear some of the details. The principals were meeting in an adjoining room, and they had already been dismissed to go back to their schools. We were instructed that we could either go back to our schools, or go home, since we all already had subs. I went back to my students, but it didn't have much effect. The kids didn't know what was going on. My principal, not knowing what the parents would want their kids to know and see, instructed as to go on as usual, with no TVs on. I was worried for my own kids, not knowing what else would happen that day. I called my mom from school, and she laughed at my worries, but I asked her to go pick up the kids from school. We disagreed, but finally she sent my dad to get the kids. It was silly, in hindsight, but I was scared.
Like most people, I was glued to the TV for the rest of that day, and the rest of the week. I later found out that the husband of my best friend from college had been training with Dean Wittier in New York, and had left their offices in the World Trade Center only 3 days before.
I am still touched by Alan Jackson's song, "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?". It reminds me of that day, and all the people lost.
September 11, 2001. We will never forget.