Saturday, September 09, 2006

September 11, 2001

Susan Miszkowicz, age 37.

Place killed: World Trade Center. Resident of New York, N.Y. (USA).

Today's post is dedicated to the memory of those who perished on September 11th, 2001. The videos here are to honor the memories of those people.


On that morning, as I was headed off to work, my wife called out to me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I shrugged it off. It sounded like the time a small plane had hit the Empire State Building.

I was preparing for my day of teaching English to middle schoolers. Then someone said a second plane had hit the other building. Suddenly everything was different. The world stood still.

The world has stood still for me before. There was a day in November, 1963 when my third grade teacher was called out into the hallway and suddenly we were all sent out to play and there was no more lessons that day.

There was the July day in 1969 when I watched intently as my hero, Neil Armstrong, stepped onto the surface of the moon (and my brother stepped on my finger, popping out the nail, resulting in the misshapen nail I carry today).

There was the November 1981 day when I married my wife in my father's backyard.

And there was that morning in September five years ago.

The best way I can express what I saw, thought, and felt that day might be in this video I put together about it:

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I am greatly moved at the thought of those who raced into that building, again and again, until...

One habit I began was to stop and thank every fireman, police officer, and veteran I encounter. Every one.

I made this video because something in my heart stirred at the song... something made me feel I had to express myself somehow.

I thought my students might want to also do something. And they did.

We talked about creating a memorial to 9/11... We wanted a place to reflect on what had happened, and a place where students could sit quietly, peacefully. We dreamed up the Peace Garden at Ackerman Middle School.

As the central feature of the garden we wanted to obtain a piece of the World Trade Center (depicted in the video).

As a writing assignment for my class we started a letter writing campaign. I taught them how to write a formal letter, and required they write six letters each. Most wrote many more. And many other teachers also began asking their students to contribute.

They wrote letters to senators, and representatives; they wrote to the mayor of New York, and the President, and to members of all sorts of organizations. In the end they sent out over 1,800 letters.

Congresswoman Darlene Hooley responded. She managed to grant our wish.

That was a proud day for our school. On September 5th, 2002 a piece of the World Trade Center arrived in our town to much reverent fanfare. On September 11th we brought it from its place of respect at the fire hall to our middle school. There was a time capsule (to be opend September 11, 2021). Here is a video of that day when our dream of bringing a relic of heroism over terrorism to our school came true:

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This year, to mark the fifth anniversary we are retiring the flag which flies over the Peace Garden and replacing it with one that once flew over our nation's capitol. There will be a ceremeony at the fire hall, moments of silence, speeches by local politicians, an open mic time, and that flag will be brought via fire trucks and a police procession to our Peace Garden, where we will teach a new group of kids about the events of that day.

Now I try to keep this blog apolitical. And I am not going to take sides in the debate on our current difficulties here. But I do wish to say this.

My Lord has asked me to love everyone, to show that love to everyone, and in the end, His kingdom is based on that premise alone.

If I can help you to understand that love in anyway, please contact me. I am at your service always.


Heavenly Father, Bless those who love You, and draw close to those who do not. Please send someone to those who are lost, those wandering in the dark. Lord, I ask that Your will be done today, just as it is done in Heaven. Forgive us for our inability to be obedient. Lord there are those suffering right now. There are mothers crying over the missing children, and I pray for Your comfort for them. From the victims of that terrible day, to the sorrows of today, I pray that Your grace and love and compassion will shine through this present darkness. Protect those who place themselves in harm's way. --Amen.


Judas Hate said...

I love you Will.

Fox's Mom said...

I thank you and your students on behalf of my cousin John-FLT 11; I thank you on behalf of Joey, a cancer patient who'd became my friend and had gone to the South Tower to make final arrangements so that his money would fund scholarships; and for Fox, I thank-you.

pecheur said...

I needed this

Michael Pendleton said...

And now the most important thanks I have to offer. Your comments, patience, understanding, and prayers have meant much to me as I went through this period of being a total brat, or as I have put it at other blogs today, my time of freaking out, or as I put it at my own site......floundering.

I think I am done floundering for now. I think I'm over being a brat for a bit. I think I have sufficiently freaked out enough.

You seldom made any comments at my blog till everything went wrong for me and then you were one of the few that took the time to write and the thoughts and intents behind your words were much appreciated.


byHisgracealone said...

Bless you Will....

Judas Hate said...

It's the thought that counts:-)

Maybe one day.

Take care.


Cinder said...

Bless you and your students...may God's hand be upon each family today.

David said...

All our thoughts are directed to this tragedy today. May all the families who lost loved ones be comforted my our thoughts and prayers.

Jada's Gigi said...

What a beautiful post and what beautiful actions you have inspired over these past 5 yrs. See I told you, you DO things...while others merely wish things.

Jada's Gigi said...

Thank you...

Kathleen Marie said...

What a wonderful tribute for your school. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. This is a wonderful post and an even more wonderful prayer. God Bless!

Fred said...

Nice, CS. I'm glad you're participating in this project. Your words speak volumes.

David said...

bless you - and your work with the children. I posted a 2996 also. I am a wreck from reading too many tributes but I can't really stop myself
God (please) Bless America ( again)

gracie said...

A peace garden... such a great way of teaching children a different way of being...
Bless you and yours today.

Squirrel said...

Great post! I love your castposts!

Faith said...

Great post! love the videos!!
Where can I find that music in the second one? Just love it!!!

Lucy Stern said...

The man that signs that song was on the Today show on 9/11 and he sang that song and there was not a dry eye in the audience. I think I went thru three kleenex's.

TF and I both love that version of "Over the Rainbow" from the movie with Sean Connery.

It is a day that we must never forget. Thanks for the post.

see-through faith said...

The sun never goes down on the Finnish flag. the only time the flag may stay up over night is midsummer eve!

Thought you might like to know that.

It's beautiful what you did!