Friday, September 11, 2009
September 11, 2001
On September 11, 2001 I was a fourth grade teacher at Walkertown Elementary. Before my students arrived, I stopped to talk to my friend Lisa about the previous night’s Bible study. We had discussed Revelations, and how, because we lived in a country that wasn’t under attack, we had trouble seeing it as others might.
Later that morning, with my students in the room, Lisa stuck her head in the door. “Remember what we talked about this morning?” she asked. “Get ready.”
I didn’t get to ask her what was going on, but I felt a heaviness.
A little while later, a parent volunteer came by with a brief note from the office. It was a newsflash, followed by orders not to watch or discuss it with our children.
There was noise. I taught from my lesson plans, got a few students to the office when worried parents checked them out early, and made sure we made it to the cafeteria on time for lunch.
When our students were in specials, we gathered in rooms. We stared up at the horror, and we worried, and we wondered. Then we picked up our class and went back to teaching.
It was right not to tell the kids what was going on, but I know they felt the silence. Children know when something is being kept from them. But for a few more hours, we guarded their innocence and gave them some stability. I will not forget that day or the pressing silence.