Suddenly Silent

Date Submitted: 08/26/2002
Author Info: Connie (Flowery Branch, GA - USA) 
Occupation: Education/Training
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was teaching in my 3rd grade classroom on the morning of 9/11. I had several guests in my room observing the way I taught a reading program adopted by my county. A teacher came in, then realizing I had guests in my room, quickly excused herself and left. In about 30 minutes she comes back to my room but knocks this time. She mouths, “Are they gone now?” I went and opened the door. I was kidding her about barging in and embarrassing the both of us and I was laughing and going on at her. Then she looked straight into my eyes and said, “I don’t want to alarm you, but there’s something you need to know.” For some reason my first thought was something had happened at the high school where my daughter goes. Then the teacher said, “I’m sure Jeb is okay.” I stood there frozen. You see, my son Jeb, is in the Navy and was out on a deployment during 9/11. I couldn’t speak but inside my head my mind was screaming, What? What? Then she told me about the first tower being hit. Still I stood there silent. Within 5 minutes another teacher came running to us with the news that the other tower had been hit. What seemed like moments we got word from someone else that the Pentagon had been hit. I’m still standing there in silence. What does this mean for my son I wondered. Does my daughter in high school know what has happened? Is she afraid? What does this mean for our country? I had all of these questions. I felt so many emotions. Yet, I had 20 children depending on me and waiting for me. So then I went back into that 3rd grade classroom and pretended that nothing had happened in America that day. But I knew, America would never be the same again.


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