Friday, September 15, 2006

My 9/11 Memories

Where was I that September day? I was sitting in the office of the special ed coordinator at my son's school, trying to get some problems resolved. Someone in the office said they heard there had been a plane crash, but I figured "accident--awful, get on with life" and went in to talk to Mr. B. While we were talking, he got a call from home, and was obviously very upset. By the time I got back out to the main office area, the second plane had crashed. I drove to work and listened to the radio. Either during the drive or shortly after getting to the office, the third crash was known. At the office (I work in a high rise building) everyone was crowded around the TV sets and lots of folks were in tears. The office manager said that anyone who thought s/he have trouble working could leave. I had a lot to do and didn't really see the point, so I stayed. Later that day the news came out that our public schools were going to be closed the next day. They said that the schools have a noticable Muslim population and they thought it would be best for everyone if there was a cooling down day.

When I picked up the kids, they had notes saying that the topic had not been discussed at all in school and we were to deal with it as we thought best. I asked my kids why they were getting the next day off, and my daughter replied "because its my birthday", and then said something about getting ready for open house. At that time my kids were in fourth grade and kindergarten, so I just kept the news off TV and didn't say much.

The next day I took the kids to mass. It was the regular day the Catholic school kids in my parish go to mass, and this was the 8th grader's special mass, kind of like a ring mass, but with some other token. The place was packed with folks who aren't usually at such stuff. I remember going to mass that Sunday and the place being packed. The hymns included America the Beautiful, Amazing Grace and Let There Be Peace on Earth and everyone sang. What a shame it takes something like that to pack the churches and get people to sing.

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