Fill me up, Lord

"You will seek me, & find me when you seek me w/ all your heart," God says. But that is not the whole story. I'm not just a searcher. I'm also a hider. You too. We have to come face-to-face w/ our tendency to hide, to get lost. ~John Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason

Saturday, September 09, 2006

In Remembrance of 9/11/2001

I can not believe it has been five years since that horrible day. I remember I was driving in my car, on the way to school, and running late!!! The radio was on, and the announcer said, "Ohmigosh a second plane hit! This is no coincidence!". I got to school, and of course everyone was watching television in awe. But soon the kids came, and we had to turn off our television sets We were told not to talk about it with our kids, as most would not know about it, as it just had occurred. So, we tried to have a normal day, but of course it wasn't. Those of us who had specials throughout the morning, would call others and give them update. When my friend Janice called, she said that the Pentagon had just been hit. It was just an ominous feeling. A room was set up for teachers to come and just sit and watch television while the kids were at lunch or recess.

The actions of 9/11 induced fear and panic across this nation and around the world. Watching the news coverage... it was just mind-boggling,
like a movie:,
the collapsing,
the dust and ruins of a city,
the screaming,
the blood,
the horrored look upon the eyewitnesses,
and the suicide jumps

I could not comprehend what had ocurred.

Of course the next day, the kids knew everything. We had had a meeting prior to their arrival, and social workers talked to us about how to have a discussion with the class. So of course, they all came in just buzzing with news media information. So we got into the classroom, and had morning announcements. We said the Pledge of Allegiance with more meaning then we ever had. Then our principal said a few words, and she ended with the words: "God Bless America."

As a faculty we were simply shocked. You just had to know what my principal and district are like. (for those of you who know my stories, this was VIPER.)

In our very Jewish community, we are not allowed to say the "C" or "H" word. Although funny as it is, most of the Jewish mothers always comment & relay their disappointment that we couldn't use Christmas trees during our "Winter Party."

So for our very rigid-uptight principal to say GOD was like a plane had crashed into OUR school, simply unheard of and unthinkable.
Another signifier that 9/11 was an nation-shattering event.

After announcements, I had the students form big circle, and I just let them talk, and gave information to those who didn't know, gave corrections to misinformation (there was a lot!), and tried to cut off those who were just going in places we simply couldn't go. I remember telling them it was okay to be sad or angry or to feel nothing. Then I had them take out their coloring materials, and they drew pictures and just wrote. We shared these, and tried to go on with a day.

I still have these precious drawings, and I look at them from time to time.

Interestingly enough, a child had just visited NYC the weekend before. So it was just crazy for him, having just been there. He became obsessed with the Twin Towers, and he made a HUGE model of them. It is interesting to see how people grieve in many diverse ways.

On another different but similar note:
The night of the Bush vs. Gore election, I told the kids had to stay up until they knew who was president, and journal what happened.

I had no idea they would be up all night, and that we would be waiting for literally weeks on end!

The kids wrote hilarious entries. They had updates on their papers about every hour. And some of them ended with, "My mom made me go to bed!". One Japanese mother, Mrs. Sato, asked, "Does this happen with every election in America?". I burst out laughing and tried to explain. I kept some of these writings too.

The rewarding life of a slave/teacher.

On another note, it was the first time in my life where for weeks I wondered, "Am I going to die? Is the world going to just blow up?. My generation has been so shielded from the violence and terrorism occurring around the world. Yes, we had Desert Storm & Desert Shield, but really it did not affect our way of life.

I actually had to give up listening to the news. After awhile it was just overkill, and was kicking up non-stop anxiety big-time. That was very strange, as I was a political news junkie at the time.

Due to my fasting of the media, I became addicted to books on tape. You know you are hearing a good book, when you are just sitting in your car, in your garage that is pitchblack. You just can't bear to turn off the tape recorder!

Well, a bittersweet update: I am to announce, I am back to my news junkie ways. I love my MSNBC, CNBS, CNNUpdate, & CNN. And (gulp!) the Fox News network. (Don't tell!) I typically surf between these channels. (unless reality television is on)


Two thousand one, nine eleven

Three thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait

A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, "Lets sit, lets chat"
They settle down in seats of clouds

A man named Martin shouts out proud
"I have a dream!" and once he did

The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"

The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."

From a man on sticks one could hear

"The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
Trust us sir, we've passed that test."

Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom, in a grave,"

The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores

A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day

"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons

We smiled, we laughed,
we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we're not"

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, "Don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me"

Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just 'cause they must

Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
"Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!"

So said Martin, as he watched the scene
"Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."

Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze

The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima back in '45

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly

" see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow -- but I don't see fear."

"You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You're not really gone.

All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?

You've brought them together, together as one.
With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
"Take my hand," and from there he led

Three thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven


September 11, 2006, will soon be approaching. On this day, please consider
wearing red, white & blue to work/school to show your support for those who lost their lives on 9~11~01 and to honor the heroes who worked to save them & the families left behind.

At noon your time on September 11, 2006, no matter where you are or what you are doing, consider stopping, and putting your hand on your heart, and say the Pledge of Allegiance out loud or to yourself and say a prayer for our nation.

Just and idea.
This has nothing to do with how we view the president or our current and past actions/policies in the Middle East & Europe. This isn't about Republican vs. Democrat or liberals vs. conservatives, or blue vs. red. It's not about blame.

It's about the day our nation's security was shaken, people's lives were shattered, and how in the days after, the awesome sense of American support & sympathy shined across the world, and how people showed their humanity, courage, & resolve.


  • At 9:03 AM, September 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What's C, H, and Viper? The poem was so pretty.

  • At 4:05 PM, September 10, 2006, Blogger Catherine said…

    And of course you haven't forgotten what we did that week -- maybe this will bring it all back (it sure does for me!) "Who can say where the day goes...something something..only time..."

  • At 2:09 AM, September 12, 2006, Blogger Literacygirl said…

    C=Christmas H=Hannukah
    Kids will ask, "Ms Carlson, are you Christmas or Hannukah?", rather than asking me which religion I practiced.

    V is someone from my past days in the education field.

    Cath! I had forgotten that! We heard that song over and over again. I am so glad we went to visit Grandma that weekend. Right after that she moved to MN. I think she really enjoyed "showing off" her granddaughters! The car trip was fun too. Actually I can't think of a long car ride with you that I have not enjoyed. If you find one of your Enya CDs, may I borrow it? Or maybe as a gift for my bday? WHOAH. Wait! Did I even get you a card?? I goofed big time. Let's not give a gift, let's do something together. (I know hard with Asher, but it could be just a movie night, and we could eat popcorn and chocolate cake & you would breast feed or pump, and Asher could scream, and Matthew could be doing his computer stuffs.


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