Five Years Ago Today

Hard to believe it was five years ago today.

I was in my second year of teaching, leaning up against my desk waiting for students to filter in for our English class. The librarian poked her head in and told me to turn on the radio, that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I was a news junkie, so I turned on AM 770–“from the heart of midtown Manhattan”. The students were goofing off as students do, but I largely ignored them. As I listened my blood ran cold.

What a strange situation, standing up there, myself afraid with all of those eyes on me. What’s happening they wanted to know. I tried to explain, but when you’re afraid everything seems bigger and harder to wrap your mind around. Someone wheeled in a television set and we watched the towers fall. We got reprimanded at the end of the day for letting the kids watch tv and listen to the radio. We could have scared them, we were told. Yeah, welcome to the world. Some of the student’s parents worked there. I was shaken. They were shaken. We were shaken.

Five years ago today, I wrote down my fears.