September 11, 2001. I sat with my fellow senior classmates in our high school government class when our school librarian rushed in to turn on the tv. We watched together in awe at what was happening to our country. When 1st period was over, most of us moved to the big screen tv in our library. There we watched as not one but both towers fell.
Today, eight years later, I had the opportunity to tell the story of that day to my students. The oldest of these students were barely toddlers on September 11, 2001. Most of my students had not even been born. I was amazed today at how little my students knew about what had happened. The majority of them met me with blank stares when I asked them what was special about today. My favorite response, "It was when they blew up the Whitehouse!" Of course, that was met with many "Nuh-uh's!" and "You're making that up's!" Then the kid said, "Well they didn't really blow it up, but they took it apart! I saw it! And then they put it back together!" (I'm still not sure who "they" is). Maybe he saw a picture of renovations or Independence Day?
On the more serious side of things, we said that while, yes, today is a sad day because we remember those who gave up their lives that day and in the days since, it is also a day to be thankful for all of the men and women who help keep our country safe (municipal and armed forces). And so many of my students have family members who are serving in some way or another. It's always interesting trying to explain things of this magnitude to kids. Somehow, simplifying things for them has a way of putting things into perspective for me. Of all the things I heard, read, or thought today though, I'd say the perspective that I would like to keep when I remember today is the perspective that my friend Jack offers here. Read it if you have the chance. It's good.