View from the chair

We have forgotten

I remember I was student teaching. I was in a 3rd-grade class. This was before facebook, twitter, text messages, Instagram etc. My class was at PE and a teacher came in and said the twin towers had a plane crash into them. What a tragedy we all thought. How horrible. We did have one computer in our classroom so I logged in and went to CNN. The screen before me was an awful sight. Flames. People in sheer panic. Utter chaos. Then the next plane hit and realized what it really was. An attack on American soil. Lack of communication was the worst part. We as teachers were in school with the children. What do we tell them? Do we tell them? Many go home to an empty house. Will they turn on their favorite cartoon this afternoon and be hit face on with a tragedy unfolding? All I wanted to do was go home and turn on the television. I wanted to find out the whole story. Getting bits and pieces was tough. School ended and I went home. My sister and I were glued to the television. Her two small kids playing in the other room completely careless. As the story unfolded we saw picture after picture of people fleeing. Of people in shock. Of heroes running towards the flames…some to not make it back out again. Channel after channel reporting. No afternoon programming. No evening programming. Only coverage. This lasted for weeks! Such a sense of need for family and community.
Fast forward 17 years. Here we are. As I log onto my computer this morning there is only a short bit on Yahoo. Images from 9/11 then and now. That is what it has come to. After thousands lost their lives. After so many families were forever changed. After a complete overhaul of airport security, this is what it has come to…a small bit on the news page.
Well, I won’t forget! As I had my first graders stand and say the pledge we took some extra time to remember this date 17 years ago. They may be small but they have the ability of compassion. I won’t forget the legacy of the heroes that carry on today in the faces of the new crew of firemen, first responders, and police. Why is this important? In the words of George Santayana (1863-1952), who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This type of tragedy was new to us at that time. However in our lives today our students, OUR KIDS, are faced with tragedy. Maybe, just maybe by remembering and learning from the past we can create a better future.
I will not forget!


  1. I have to agree but wonder how much is self-protection. I remember working a temp job and I kept working because everyone disappeared and I wasn’t sure where they went and thought I could use the time to get work done in quiet. Then all the phones were down. People remember, there are three memorial services here that I know of. I don’t hear references to it right now on the radio but do see remembrances on social media. Thank you for the post.

  2. I was in 7th grade and I lived in Los Angeles. I was listening to the radio before school and as the first in my family to hear the news. I told my parents and they both started crying. Our school was closed for 2 days due to proximity to a potential target. I will never forget the next 48 hours spent doing nothing but watching the news. That day changed my life because it made me want to become a journalist. #keepingitreal

    1. beachchairtracy

      Wow. I did not know that about potential targets and school closing. It was crazy!

  3. You are right, in the UK I did not hear or see anything about it this year. That is really sad, that such a huge devastating event could now be forgotten. Well done in reminding us of such a historic tragedy and how we need to learn from it. #TwinklyTuesday

  4. It’s hard to believe that 17 years have passed. I certainly remember where I was and what I was doing when I found out what had happened. Such a tragedy and certainly one I will never forget in my lifetime. #bloggersbest

  5. I didn’t forget. I remember coming home from school and seeing it all unfold on the TV and we visited Ground Zero a few years back. Felt very sad. Great post and thanks for sharing with #bloggersbest x

    1. beachchairtracy

      I have yet to get to ground zero. It is on my list when little girl is older. A friend of mine married one of the first responders who went into the builidng.

  6. I was perched on a ladder, stenciling a wall in my living room when Hubby rushed into the room to switch on the TV for the shocking news. A co-worker had just called him on the phone and they were told to not go to the office the following day as they work for an American company and were given the heads-up that their office building could be a likely target for a terrorist attack.
    I don’t think anyone could ever forget this very eventful day in history wherever they are in the world. Seven Malaysians perished in the attack.


    1. beachchairtracy

      Any life list was too many. So sad.

  7. I did see lots of people mention it on Social Media, so the people haven’t forgotten. I remember the reports on television too, really not believing what I was seeing. Such a very sad time.

    1. beachchairtracy

      I did see more on social media than in the news. A lot of where were you type questions. It is good that people have not forgotten.

  8. It still gives me chills when I read about it here. You must be my same age because I was in college when it happened. We will never forget.

  9. I won’t forget either. The memories of that day and the repercussions, how life has changed forever will always be stamped on my mind. I try my best now that my kids are older to educate them about horrific events like this because now I feel they can deal with more information but I think they should know about important and tragic historic events like this. #DreamTeam

  10. I will never forget that day either, my neighbour came round to tell me about it and we sat for the day watching the TV before collecting the children from school, sadly there are so many more atrocities that have occurred since that awful day also #keepingitreal

  11. Popping back – Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales, do come back Tuesday!

  12. I don’t think anyone will ever forget that moment or where they were. I too was in the classroom, though it was the end of the school day. We only found out because a frantic parent came to us at pick up and broke the news in a complete panic. Such horror. Our thoughts will always go out to those effected and the hero’s – so brave. #DreamTeam

    1. beachchairtracy

      I am sure many parents were paniced! Such a scary time!

  13. Hi Tracy, there are two images that are stuck in my mind clearly. One is from the day Princess Diana died, I still have the impression of the newspapers headlines they were showing on the telly as I changed my sons nappy, I was that sleep deprived I thought I was hearing things wrong.. And the other image is of the first plane to hit the towers. I was sorting the table for dinner and glanced up as footage of the plane flying into the tower. Again I thought I was seeing things… I think there will be many people in the world who may not outwardly acknowledge the day, but they will always remember the day that so many people lost lives and that basically changed the world and how we think. I know I did… It’s a time that can never be removed from history and let’s hope that one day the world comes right and younger generations learn from the past.

    Thank you for linking up with #keepingitreal.

    1. beachchairtracy

      I remember when Princess died. My mom and I could not believe it. Such a sad loss.

  14. #thesatsesh ohhh grab and badge hun, thanks for joining us. I was teaching yr 7 (11yr olds) and asked them if they remembered it…yeah, they weren’t born. For me it feels like weeks, not years. We can remember by looking positively at what history has taught us, rather than echo the tragic loss. Such sad times.

  15. I felt just as you did this year, a blip here, sound bite there… Too strange. I still remember the exact color blue the sky was that day. When I see it, I get goose bumps, the bad kind. I will never forget, and like your quote, we musn’t. Beautiful #trumphanttales xo

  16. I very much remember the day – it was my first day of teacher training and I got home to see the horror unfolding on the TV. Horrendous. #thesatsesh xx

  17. Hello Tracy,

    Thank you for this post and for the reminder that we shouldn’t forget.

    To this day I knew where I was when the attacks happened. I can still remember what I felt, the shock and disbelief. What George Santayana wrote about becoming condemned to repeat what has happened in our history if we don’t remember is true. We should not forget.


  18. Calvin

    I remember was in kindergarten. Everyone was shocked

  19. Pero

    Nobody has forgotten , but live goes on , bills has to be payed , deadlines met … Nobody can carry that kind of trauma every single day in their head

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