Never Forget

Remembering September, 11

after 20 years….

I was born in New Jersey. Moved to California when I was six. But if I click my heels three times and say: “There’s no place like home” I will end up in my Aunt’s kitchen in New Jersey… my summer home all my growing years.

The City

We went to “The City” often. There is only one “City” and it is THE city. Not to mention when the plane lands in Newark the famous skyline was always my first welcome home. My last visit was 21 years ago for my honeymoon. In some ways, I want to remember THAT – perhaps I will visit THE CITY again.

Until I do, the television in my mind replays the events of 19 years ago. The odd reason I turned on the television at 6 am in the first place. My inability to understand that was a commercial airliner and not something like a Cessna or a bigger version, but NOT a commercial airliner. I can remember riding to work and hearing the first tower fell. It was impossible to comprehend what that meant either. Was I 10 years old? I can’t imagine the reality of the city. After 20 years, I still can’t imagine their reality.

Worst Day Teaching

September 11, 2001, I was the worst teacher I have ever, ever been in my entire LIFE. I didn’t say ANYTHING to my students. Not a word about what happened that morning. I just taught like it was a normal day.

I waited for recess to call my Aunt to make sure all my cousins were ok. They were, – just “stranded” trying to get out of THE city.

There were people far more critically impacted that day I realize that. My wounds are nothing in comparison. I was paralyzed. I taught like a robot. Went home and watched over and over still not understanding.

As I continued to work with children, I always gave them an assignment to interview an adult, to have the adult recall their memory of when they heard the news of September 11, 2001.

The kids don’t understand, that assignment was, and always will be for the adults.

2021 marks the 20th anniversary

Now it’s been 20 years and just days ago The casualties went up exponentially in my mind. The oldest Soldier we lost was ONLY 11 years old in 2001. I’m sure he remembered. I’m sure they all knew why they were there.

Every life lost on September 11th, and each member of our military since, are just as valuable to our country as those of the Revolutionary war, Civil war, Vietnam, and every battle, war, conflict, and military operation- PERIOD.

I have, and always will honor our Firefighters, Police, and Military personnel who dedicate their lives to make our lives better, safer, and free.

My words may sound hollow, but they are from the depths of my soul. My deepest Gratitude is with you.

There are many activities out there to remember the events of September 11th. The simplest is to talk about it. Have your child call a relative and just ask them what they remember about this day 19 years ago. Call 2 or 3 and compare stories. Tell them YOUR STORY. Read books. Write letters to local police, fire and military – THANK THEM for their service.

I have no curriculum to sell you today. Just memories to share.

Mrs. Crabtree

In loving memory of my hero, My brother Corporal Anthony Serra USMC Desert Storm Veteran June 1994 – December 2017

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