Remembering 09/11

Remembering 09/11




There are a few dates we should remember in American history – 1492 (the year Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue), July 4, 1776 (the day we declared our independence from Great Britain), April 14, 1865 (the day Abraham Lincoln was shot and a few days after the Civil war ended), December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day), June 6, 1944 (D-Day in Normandy), November 22, 1963 (the day President Kennedy was killed) and September 11, 2001 (the most deadly attack on American soil).

Each generation of individuals who lived through these events can tell you exactly where they were when these events unfolded. The only one that I am old enough to know is the last one – September 11, 2001.  Tomorrow will mark the 13th anniversary of this awful and most-tragic day. It is such a vivid memory of how the world changed in a few moments that I sometimes forget that most of the students reading this blog today were in diapers or pre-school when this happened. (a short and tasteful video by the History Channel)

Although you might be too young to remember the events unfold, you should know what happened and understand the impact it had on America and the world. On this fateful day, al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and into a field in rural Pennsylvania. A combined 2,992 people were killed in these attacks, hundreds of which were first-responders who died trying to rescue people in the buildings.

My Personal Memories: My wife called me from work at about 9:20 in the morning.  I was home and getting ready to leave for work.  She told me to turn on the TV.  The coverage was on every station.  I was able to see the hole in World Trade Center, Tower 2.  They commentators were speculating that a small commuter plane had mistakenly crashed into the building. It didn’t seem like a big deal. A few minutes passed and I witnessed the second plane hitting World Trade Center, Tower 1.  It was not clear that this was a terrorist attack. We had never seen anything like this. The press didn’t jump to conclusions.  Within an hour, the first Tower fell.  It was sheer disbelief. For a few moments, no one could figure out what happened. Then a reporter said, “Oh my God, it’s gone.” Other reports were coming in about fires at the Pentagon.  It then became clear that America was under attack. It was the first moment that I ever heard the name, “Osama bin Laden” and the term “Ground Zero.” Within a few minutes, the second tower fell and everyone knew the world had changed. My wife and I cried on the phone, knowing that thousands of people had just died.  The coverage lasted all day and several more days following. We heard from New York City Mayor Guiliani, President George Bush and watched thousands of family members post pictures of their missing relatives, desperately hoping that someone would find them.

Let us not forget the thousands of innocent people who died that day and the thousands of children about your age who were forced to grow up without a parent.

Your Turn: Please place your comments below, (2) like and share our Facebook page (character development & leadership) or (3) tweet to @CDandLeadership using #09/011/2001)

1. Please post your memories of these events (particularly teachers).

2. What lessons can be learned from these events?  How are these lessons still relevant today? Did anyone see President Obama’s address to America regarding the Isis terrorists tonight?

3. How did America change and how do you think we became a better America?

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