I hadn't been married a whole year yet.
I was at the beginning of my second year teaching.
I was in a closed classroom with 21 5 year old's. All was well in my wold. Then, just after 9, there was a call for all teacher to step out into the hallway. Weird - very weird.
Out in the hall we were given very sketchy details. 2 planes crashed into the Twin Towers! There was silence, no one really even knew what to think, much less what to do. Except one of the second grade teachers, her fiance was in NY that day. On business. He was supposed to be in one of the towers. She was given a sub so she could try to contact him. The rest of us were sent back into our classrooms to keep on with the day. We were after all dealing with little children. I chose not to say anything at all to my class.
About 30 minutes later I got a call from the office that one of my student's mom's was there to pick her up. I went out into the hallway to meet her (honestly, I wanted to see if she had any more details, cause the phone lines were all tied up and I was trying to carry on with our "normal" day in the classroom), but I could tell, just by watching her come down the hallway that things were bad. She was in almost a total panic. By the looks of her, I could tell she was just going to rush past me into my classroom to get her daughter.
I stopped her. I reassured her that all in the classroom was well. That the children knew nothing of what had happened and that I would get her daughter ready and send her out. I didn't want her upsetting the rest of the class.
As the morning went on, small details came in about the other planes crashing and the Towers falling. Finally, they decided to close school early that day. The school was close to the airport and since no one knew what was going on, or what else might happen, they thought it was best to send the students home.
As soon as they were gone, I too come home and sat and watched on TV.
I remember desperately wanting David to come home from work. At the time he was working close to the oil tank farms in Greensboro and the local news was saying they were stepping up security there - just in case. David assured me he was fine, and that I was too!
I remember the whole thing being surreal feeling. It felt like this horrible thing had happened so far away from me, yet it totally changed the way everyone felt about everything. About simple travel to and from work. About the things I would say to my students the next day - or what they would say to each other depending on what they had seen at home. It brought on a renewed feeling of patriotism. At school each morning the students say the Pledge of Allegiance. I think it was a week or more before I made it through the Pledge without tears!
I also remember feeling helpless. Like there was just nothing I could do. It was so big, such a huge shock, something so far outside of what people thought was even possible in the USA.
Yesterday, as we marked 10 years later - I still remember. As do all Americans. I am also still thankful for all those then, and now, who put their lives on the line each and every day to keep us safe both here at home and over seas.
God bless America!