I'm sorry I didn't get to post this yesterday. I was waiting for permission to use what follows because it moved me.
Things are quite busy at the beginning of the school year and I always find myself trying to dig out from under piles of forms that the students are supposed to return to us the first day. These forms continue to straggle in on a daily basis for at least a week. There's a medical update form for the health office, a media release form that gives or denies permission to publish pictures (without names) of students taken during school functions, and a form that the parents sign acknowledging they have logged into our database and have updated their emergency contact information.
Emergency contact information - made so much more necessary to have since the world changed 12 years ago.
As I sat at my desk yesterday morning I did pause to listen to the announcements that regularly take place behind me and was glad that there were no interruptions that kept me from doing that. Our guidance counselor, who normally runs the morning opening, had prepared a few words to note the importance of the day. You see our school houses fourth and fifth grades and these children had not been born yet 12 years ago. To them, 9/11 is what you call in an emergency. They do not equate that series of numbers with what most of us think of, yet all our lives were changed because of it.
Here is what our counselor wrote:
Boys and girls, you may be noticing that many teachers are dressed in red, white and blue today. That’s because today is Patriots Day, a day to remember that 12 years ago, in 2001, on this date, Sept. 11, our country suffered a great tragedy. The World Trade Center in NYC, and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, were attacked by terrorists and many, many people lost their lives.
You might wonder why we have anniversaries that remind ourselves of sad times. One reason is to honor the memory of those who died so they will never be forgotten. Another reason we want to remember is to learn from the past, so we can hopefully find ways to prevent such sad things from happening even again. We learn lessons from history. From the events of Sept. 11, we hope people learn to talk through their differences instead of using violence. This is as true of problems between children as it is between adults and countries.
On these kinds of anniversaries people sometimes make speeches or have a moment of silence to honor the memory of loved ones. Since the people who attacked America were filled with hatred, maybe the best thing we could do right now is to listen to a poem about peace. (D. Hercky)
Ring Around the World
by Annette Wynne
Ring around the world
Taking hands together
All across the temperate
And the torrid weather.
Past the royal palm trees
By the ocean sand
Make a ring around the world
Taking each other’s hand;
In the valleys, on the hill,
Over the prairie spaces,
There’s a ring around the world
Made of children’s friendly faces.
Peace and God Bless America.