Twelve years ago today I left my four week old baby and two older children with their great grandmother and headed off to work. As I dropped of something in the nurse's office she made a comment that a plane just crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I remember thinking it was odd, and sad, but I thought it was a private, small plane that had flown off course. Of course, it didn't take long before I found out what was really happening. Even then, I had no idea how much damage those two planes would do. As teachers, we were asked to continue teaching; however, I watched as many of my students were picked up early to go home with family and I waited, with anticipation, to find out how families of my coworkers were doing. It was a frightening day.
Today, what I want to remember is the solidarity we felt as a country, coming together in grief and shock with a determination that we would triumph. What I want to remember was the fear because, as negative as that emotion is, it keeps us mindful that there is need for caution and thought. What I want to remember most are the heroes born that day, putting the lives of others before their own lives. I want to remember that we felt united, and I hope that it does not take more tragedy for our country to regain the feeling it seems many of us have lost. Children in school now don't remember that day, they were too young or not even born. It is our job to remind them, not of the frightening images, but of the cost of freedom.