11 Years Later

Across the internet on this date every year, people talk about where they were in 2001. I was in school 11 years ago. I had no idea that anything had happened until I heard a couple of kids talking about a plane crash on the bus heading home. I didn’t really think much of it.

When I walked into the house though, the TV was on and my family was staring at the crash being played over and over again on the news. Things started to make more sense.

The next day in school we talked about it, they mentioned it on the announcements. Not a lot got done. When the event appeared on breaking news on the TV in the teachers’ lounge the school administration decided quickly to make the day go on as normal and let parents tell their children at home so they told the teachers not to turn on the TVs or mention it to their students. Some teachers followed this and others did not. The teachers for the classes that I had followed that direction.

More than a decade later, I wonder if the school did the right thing. I can understand the actions of teachers who followed orders as well as the actions of those who did not. The school administration chose to keep panic and fear from spreading throughout a large group of pre-teens, but they also had to explain that to us the next day and apparently to some parents who came to pick up their children early. The teachers who turned on the TVs in their rooms and who told their students decided that their students deserved to know what was happening as it happened. What do you think? Did my school administration make the right decision?

I know that for many, it seems like yesterday. For me, 11 years is a long time. A lot has happened in our country during the last 11 years. Some good and some bad. I’m sure for many, not long after September 11, 2001 going to an airport or a government building was a little scary. But today, airports and government buildings feel fairly safe, it’s theaters, schools and the unknown that seem more dangerous.

There’s a generation of children in school who are learning about September 11th as history when their parents remember it as one of the scariest days of their lives.

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4 thoughts on “11 Years Later

  1. Do you remember that then Pres Bush was reading to a classroom full of small children when he recieved the news of what happened? He chose to finish reading the book rather than “scare” the children. School systems are so afraid of parents’ reaction that they err on the side of caution. I was 12 when Kennedy was assassinated and we got all the coverage that was then available while at school and from the teachers. I would have preferred to have known rather than waiting to be told after the event.

  2. Given the circumstance, I don’t think anybody on that day made a “wrong” decision — except for the ones who hijacked the planes. Nobody really knew what was happening or what was going to happen; there were no preparations or thought-out plans available, so we had to make instantaneous decisions based on what “felt” right, even though absolutely nothing felt right.

    Where in the country were you? In my neck of the woods, we were very close to what was happening. Some parents picked up their kids early from school to bring them to safety… wherever that might be… while other parents never got to pick up their kids at all. If you were in a geographic area that was considered “safe” (as safe as anything could be at the time), then I could see the logic in waiting. If you were somewhere near New York, Boston, or D.C., or even near Los Angeles (where some of the planes were headed) then I think it would’ve been wise to say something. (In all honesty, I was on vacation out of the country at the time, but I did return home when air travel resumed).

    But I can’t fault anyone for what they decided to do or not do. It was all too confusing.

    • I agree. There were a lot of tough decisions being made that day.

      I was in Ohio, so fairly “safe.” Being out of the country when it happened and trying to return home was probably a fairly complicated situation to be in.

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