George Santayana stated on December 16, 1863, that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. It seems this is a truth our children are not being taught. A few days ago was the anniversary of a day in our history that changed all of our futures.
Many of my students weren’t even born yet but what surprised me most was they knew little about what had happened on that date of September 11, 2001. What shocked me most was how many of our schools remembered this date by degrading its definition into a short mostly ignored moment of silence.
I want to take this time to remind those of us who were part of this time and those of us who must remember in order to have it never repeated. I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t express what I was feeling in words. I knew everyone of those people who were condemned to die. I didn’t know their faces or their names but I knew them all. They were husbands and wives of families working to make the people they were responsible for safe and comfortable. They were the children of families whose hard work and perseverance made their families proud. They were the grandparents who were almost ready to live out their lives doing something they had dreamed they could do.
They were also the young and tough men and women who decided that their lives would not be equated by the dollar bill. They had decided in their lives that their legacy would represent the best of the human spirit. They were the first to respond to people needing help. They will be last ones we will find.
There are certain days in our lives that define who we are and the path we will take in life. Mine occurred on November 22, 1963. I remember what I was doing and where I was. Hell, I even remember what I was wearing. I look at my students and realize that their day will be one filled with unspeakable horror. Their defining moment will include hate, fear, and disbelief. Continue Reading →