World Citizen Wednesdays #37: Remembering 9-11
Welcome to World Citizen Wednesday!
Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.
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This week we ask…
Where were you on September 11th?
Annika of Be Bilingual: I was on maternity leave and at home (in Finland) with Emma, 6 months. My husband called me from work to tell me to turn on the TV. Just as I did the second tower was hit. I will forever remember how I stood there in front of the TV, holding my baby tight and crying. I was still there when my husband came home from work many hours later.
Kim of Mama Mzungu: First week of grad school. We were waiting for a stats class to begin but it never happened. We all, new friends and classmates as well as our teacher, sat huddled around the television all morning and absorbed the tears and lent shoulders to our classmates from New York. There was an immediate intimacy amid the tragedy. Slowly, we all flocked away from the city center fearing that Chicago might be next.
Annabelle of the piri-piri lexicon: I was in the UK, in a doctor’s surgery’ waiting room. There was a TV on and as we saw the images everybody fell silent. Nobody moved, coughed or dare say anything.
Leanna of All Done Monkey: We were in the airport, getting ready to fly from Costa Rica to the US. I overheard some other passengers in line talking about a plane crashing, but we had no idea what was really going on. I’ll never forget one of the agents standing up on the counter and waving his arms to tell us that all flights to the US had been canceled. My brother-in-law came back to pick us up, and we ended up spending an extra week there. We were all glued to the television. Everyone was very sweet and extra considerate to me, as the American, since they knew I would be particularly affected.
Olga of The European Mama: I was in the cinema with a friend. The film started exactly when the planes crashed into the towers.When I came back home, my parents were watching the news and the whole world was holding the breath waiting for Superman to appear. He never did 🙁
Miwa of cranes and clovers: I was at my parents’ house in Connecticut. I was supposed to go to Japan the next day to start my sophomore year in college. We got a call from my grandmother in Japan, telling us to turn the TV on. Moments after we did, the second tower was hit. I was able to get a flight to Japan a week and a half later, but I felt torn about leaving the US.
Becky of Kid World Citizen: I was living in London, the first day at my new job teaching in Barnet College. All of the instructors were in a meeting and someone came in to whisper something to my boss. As soon as she announced the a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center I thought of terrorism and asked what the airline was (my dad was a pilot). We continued our meeting and later found out more details. I didn’t have a TV, and my neighbor knew I was American so he brought over his TV for me to watch- it was awful! I couldn’t call the US because the phone lines were all busy from UK to US. Also my husband was in Paris on business so I was alone that night, watching the terrible scenes on the borrowed TV.
Kristen of Toddling in the Fast Lane: I was asleep when the first plane crashed. Woke up and all my college roommates were watching the news. Most of my classes were cancelled but the one I did have showed me exactly how crazy the reactions were going to be. People were already calling for blood and others for forgiveness. No one knew what to think.
Natalie of Afterschool for Smarty Pants: Ironically, I was supposed to be on assignment in Pentagon, but it was switched to Dallas at the last possible minute. I was asked to go to Dallas for a day, fly back to New York on Tuesday morning and go to Pentagon on Wednesday morning. I saw the news just as I was leaving for the airport and watched the second plane hit. I still remember the feeling of denial and shock. I was stuck in Dallas for days before I was able to fly back to tri-state area.
Kim of The Educators’ Spin On It: I was in the middle of teaching a room full of Kindergartners in Orlando when my neighboring teacher peeked through our shared closet and said “Turn on your tv we’re under attack it seems.” In secret I watched in horror as the second plane crashed. It was a very long day in front of 18 innocent 5 year old that I couldn’t show my reactions to so that they could discuss the horrific events with their own families. My husband was in Washington DC at the time for work and all phone lines were down. I remember rushing home to my son who looked at me when I picked him up at after school care and said “Mommy why are all the grown ups crying today?”
Stephen of The Head of the Heard: I was sitting in the cafe/pub at the language school I was teaching at in Brazil. We always had CNN or BBC news on the TV in the corner so I saw it all live. We didn’t get much teaching done for the rest of the day.
Giselle of Kids Yoga Stories: I was teaching at the American School in Guatemala, and another teacher came into our room to turn on the TV. There were eight Grade 3 students with me in our Gifted program. We all watched in disbelief and didn’t really understand the impact of the events. It took a while to sink in as to the global impact, as we felt so far away living in Guatemala. The American teachers working at the school kept us informed over the weeks following the disaster. We were also consumed with the ongoing threats and challenges of living in Guatemala.
Stephanie of InCultureParent: I was in NYC, running late to class at grad school that morning. I quickly turned on the TV to see the weather and heard an announcement that no trains were running. That’s when I changed the channel and saw the images. It was so unreal. Then I looked out my window and saw all the smoke–that’s when it became real–that didn’t cease for days. And I started panicking about all my friends, as so many trains pass through that area. Luckily everyone I knew was safe. In the days that followed I wanted to photograph everything (I was really into photography then) and was shocked by how much of a war zone it looked like–burnt cars, smoke, all sorts of crews teeming around there in chaos (sanitation, police, fire, military too if I remember right.)
Sophie of Hao Mama: I was in New York, on my way to work. A crowd had gathered on the corner of 6th Ave and 28th Street and I asked someone what they were looking at and he pointed downtown. I didn’t see anything on the streets. Then he pointed up, and I saw the gaping hole in the WTC and smoke pouring out from the second plane that had hit moments before. Every minute of the rest of that day will be etched in my memory forever, including the smell of burnt metal, rubber, and bodies that wafted over the city for days. I didn’t have children yet but one of my strongest memories is of being in a playground that afternoon, where my husband (then boyfriend) and I went to get some respite after waiting in line to give blood, and seeing the intensity on the faces of the parents who were pushing their children on the swings. The kids just seemed happy to have an unexpected day in the park, but every parent was intensely focused on their child in a way that was very powerful to witness. Since having kids I think back on that moment often.
Meera of Meera Sriram: I was home getting ready to go to class. I was in grad school in Boston then. My husband was at work. He called to tell me to turn on the TV. I still drove to school that morning and remember seeing the skyline. It seemed so sullen.
Andrea of ziezo: I was in a meeting at the University of Maryland as a graduate student. . . living on Capitol Hill, it was my partner who phoned me from home to tell me what happened. I spend the rest of the day at the university as it was difficult to go home, the metro system closed for several hours AND because a statistics professor did teach an evening class! I am not sure what he was thinking!
Carol of A French American Life: I was in a San Diego hotel, getting ready for a job interview I had scheduled that day. I flipped on the TV and sank to the ground in horror, completely disoriented and feeling like it must be a movie, because something like that could not have been happening. Alone and desperate for human contact, I called my family then headed to the lobby where I sat with the front desk clerk, both of us silent and watching the news.
Jenny of Spanish Playground: I was teaching at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. I had an beginning ESL class with students from all over the world. It started just after the second plane hit. The department decided that classes should meet, we should inform the students who didn’t know (most of them), listen to the news during class, and try to help our students as best we could. My students were 18 and had been in the US for only a few weeks. They were from Japan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, South Korea, Mexico, France, Argentina. It was so hard to try to process what was happening and help them understand. I remember that in the days that followed, their parents called constantly, wanting them to come home. Some didn’t understand how far Wisconsin was from New York (according to the students), but I have to say I sympathized with the impulse.
Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here! You can read answers to earlier questions in our previous installments of World Citizen Wednesday, including tips for traveling with kids!
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Great post and WCW prompt. Reading the statement of Kim’s little son — “Mommy why are all the grown ups crying today?”– literally brought tears to my eyes.
Such powerful memories of that terrible day!