I Will Never Forget
I will never forget a colleague coming to my door between classes at Harrison Trimble High School saying that a plane had struck one of the Trade Center buildings.
Obviously we had no idea what was happening; ironically I had just watched a documentary on the Trade Center buildings a few weeks earlier.
In the following minutes and hours the tragic news started to break.
I didn’t have Internet or let a lone a computer for that matter in my classroom, but I vividly remember calling my Mom and Dad at work at lunch that day to get an update.
My Dad had his own bay at the garage where he was working at the time which just so happened to have a TV in it.
I remember asking him what the hell was going on, I kept saying why dad? and who had done it? My Dad said that they didn’t know who had done it, but a few countries had already been mentioned for possible connections to terrorism organizations.
My second call was to my mother, who was working at Nav Canada at the time. I remember asking her what was happening over there. She said that they increased security at the main doors and that they had called every air traffic controller back in to work.
It was my first year as a full-time teacher and ironically my Period 4 class was World Issues 120.
By that time all the students knew. We had deep conversations that day for the entire class, but I’ll never forget a comment I made linking my hometown to the world. I remember posing the question to the class, how can Moncton help?
The class was eerily quiet, they weren’t eager to share, some did, Nevertheless, not knowing that countless planes had been rerouted to Moncton to land, I foolishly said, ‘I’m not sure how Moncton can help.’
Obviously the City of Moncton did help like hundreds of other cities across the world on that tragic day. I wanted my students to think on a global scale and how a horrific attack could impact us all, even in Moncton.
When class was over the students left, the empty classroom confronted me. Had I taught them anything that day?
I had a Period 5 prep and felt compelled to go to the library. You see the only TV in the school with cable at the time was in the library.
A small group of staff and students were gathered around the TV which was mounted on a large black raised cart.
We all watched in shock and sadness.
I reluctantly watched the unthinkable.
I will never forget that moment.
HTHS was on the flight path to the Moncton Airport.
Every day during soccer practice or games the sound of countless planes on final approach would be deafening.
It was eerily quiet that day. I will never forget how bright and warm the Sun was.
I will never forget driving home that evening thinking about all the people that were lost that day.
Every year on September 11th, I talk to my classes about that tragic day and how it changed the world.
Some days you have to put the curriculum aside for a few minutes and talk about a moment in time.
A moment in time that I will never forget.