September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Email Text:I was standing in the library with a class of third graders. We were in to our lesson when in walked a third grade teacher. It was not her class I was working with. She said "Would you please turn on a news channel?"
We have an in-house broadcasting system that broadcasts ETV and the cable out to the classrooms. I asked, "What channel?"
She answered, "It doesn't matter?" A cold chill went down my spine. I walked into the av room to the cable box and turned it to a local news channel. We turned on the television in the back room, away from the children and saw the first tower in flames. The teacher had just been on her cell phone with a babysitter who witnessed the first news broadcast.
There were first 3 adults in the backroom. I saw the second plane crash when it happened. I immediately knew this was not a random accident. This meant the United States was no longer the same. In an instant my sense of security was gone. I realized that our country was not ever going to be the same.
All day long every faculty member, every visitor came in and out of the av room. Everyone fought back tears for the sake of the children. All of us expressed the same desire to be at home with our loved ones.
The worst part of the day for me was when a pregnant teacher came into the room and started crying, saying,"There are children who won't be picked up from daycare! What's going to happen to them?"
We all wanted to go home and we weren't dismissed until the normal time.
Driving home I felt spooked. The roads were nearly empty! This is Greenville, South Carolina which has heavy traffic congestion, ordinarily. Downtown was deserted. People had left almost all businesses in the downtown.
I was so angry. I thought about what I could do to help my country. My only thought was drive to the blood bank
and give blood. I had never done so before. It was amazing! I had to park 1/4 mile down the road because of all the cars. All kinds of people were there. The media was there, too. Many organizations donated food and drinks for the hundreds of people lined up on the sidewalks to enter.
That gave me a sense of relief. Americans are stronger, I thought than the forces that wish to destroy us. This feeling was reaffirmed when my father, a World War II veteran later called me with the same message.