Friday, September 11, 2009

Always Remember, Never Forget ... Tha Lady Blogga on 9/11

I remember this day 8 years ago like it was yesterday. It holds especially firm in my mind because I watched the events unfold live across the water in my classroom full of students.

A neighboring teacher alerted me of the crash. He was a character so I thought he was kidding. I continued to teach. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a trail of smoke. When I went to the window and followed the trail, I saw a gaping hole in the Tower side... "Oh Shit!! was my initial thought. But my thoughts were disturbed by the loud rumble of a low, fast flying plane that flew over our heads. When you live in Rockaway, plane rumbles are the norm. The flight path from JFK is always live. Little did I know, that was plane #2.

Now my students are looking too, some of them crying because their parents worked in the Trade Center. As I am trying to calm them but still looking with amazement out the window, the next Tower just blew up.

I panicked and started packing my stuff. And I told the students to pack up too. I had no idea what was going on. I swear, it looked like a Sci-Fi flick when the aliens attack and stuff gets shot at. I didn't know that the plane crashed into the other building until later on. My plan was to take the children (all 25 of them) in my SUV to someplace safe. That was just the panic talking.

Once I came to my senses, I talked to the children and tried to calm them down. I tried to let some kids call their parents but I had no cell service. We were locked down and we tried not to look but my windows had no shades. We kind of had no choice. We watched the buildings crumble and the white smoke engulf Lower Manhattan and drift across the water. The kids were screaming, especially the ones with parents that worked there. I prayed they got out. Some did, some didn't.

I made my way downtown the very next day. The City was chaotic and security around the site didn't exist yet. I remember standing about 5 blocks from the wreckage. I couldn't get any closer because it was too hot. I could feel the heat and the smell the different smells of things burning. I had to see it. I didn't believe it.

In my Social Studies class, history unfolded before our eyes. My condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones in this horrific act of selfishness. Especially Hubert Hinds whose wife, my friend, Clara perished in those buildings. I will always remember. Never forget.

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  1. Bea Ramos Rodgers4:29 PM

    This is a very touching story and I'm sorry you had to witness this especially with your students. I will say though, that you are very brave for keeping your strength for these children. I'm sure that day will come when they will remember you for being their hero that day. God Bless!

  2. Well written Miss Blogga. It takes a lot to make me cry and I definitely teared up. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I was across the street during the 1993 WTC bombing, and even though I was across the state on 9/11/01 I still can't look at images or videos of that day. I read stories and I listen. Thanks for letting this out Blogga