Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You On 9-11?

We all remember the day. It was one of those days that you tend to remember where you were, who you were with, what you were doing, and maybe what you had on. The brain remembers keenly those things which are linked to our emotional response and sensual feelings. That is why teachers and ministers will often "set the stage" invoking the senses and anchor our thoughts and feelings so we will remember them, hopefully, forever. This is one of the key elements of learning. Another is repetition. As we think back to when "9-11" happened it was reinforced over and over on TV using repetition, storytelling, and emotion. That is how we learn and remember long term. It works whether you want to remember or not. If you are a student or a teacher, linking that which you want to learn or teach to these same key elements of learning will move them into your long term memory so information is not learned just for the test but becomes a part of your knowledge bank.

Where were you on 9-11? I hope you will share your story in the Comments section below and read others' stories. I was in a public high school in the media center. My automatic thoughts told me the first plane crash was a horrific accident. Then came the next and we all knew differently. I was not supervising students but my mind immediately went to them as many of their parents traveled in their work and I knew the anxiety level would be off the charts for those kids. My Principal's daughter, MiMi, an attorney, worked right across the street from the towers. She called her mom on her cell to say she was running across the Brooklyn Bridge with hundreds of others in a haze of smoke and ash.

The loss that day was incomprehensible. The children who have grown up since then and the families who have built new lives are testament to the human spirit. Honor what has been and love them forever and continue building a better life as they would want us all to do. I also went to a birthday party that evening. I couldn't decide whether to go or not. Was it unpatriotic and unfeeling or was it affirming the life we have that no one can take away, no matter what. I was glad I went. Hugs and laughter were important that day.

Where were you on 9-11?


  1. I remember I was working at a small work placement office with only a few other girls and a manager. We always listened to the radio, especially in the morning when there weren't many appointments. I thought the same thing that it was a horrible accident when I first heard but when they said the second plane hit, I knew the worst was true-an attack.

    My manager's husband was in the Navy and so she was so scared that it would mean war. Little did we all know that it would still be going on 8 years later.

    My hubby and I were scheduled to be married a couple weeks later and were thinking people wouldn't be able to come...small potatos. I was just grateful to have my life. So many others lost so much. Sad.

  2. 8 years ago today I as in a hotel room in Washington DC about 3 blocks from the White House when I heard a loud noise. We looked out the window to see what it was but didnt see anything but guys washing windows across the street. You always see that ...kind of thing in big cities. I was mesmorized by their scafflles and didnt have time to give much thought to the loud noise. My day was packed, heading to NYC shortly....Read More


  3. I was a senior in high school. My first period class was marching band, where we spend the whole period outside. I didn't find out until my second period class. The tv was not working very well and we could not see what was going on, but were were still able to listen to the news as it was being broadcast.

  4. Thanks Mike.Must have been even more confusing for you but I think being with friends/family when you hear something like this is the best. Shirley, your comment is so awesome I made it into a guest post. OK?

  5. I was at work and co-worker heard about it on the radio. We thought she was kidding but we went to the control room at work to listen and some other employees went to our training centre to view it on TV. That evening we watched the news on TV and found out 30 plus planes had landed at our airport in Gander here in Newfoundland and my nephew was on the radio with a lot of these planes to bring them done as he works for the Airport. There was updates each night for the 4 days people stayed with families in the Gander area, we heard stories of residents opening up their homes and just this week there was a movie on TV about the Newfoundland hospitality. I will never forget it.

  6. Wow! I bet your nephew will never forget that day. He can tell his grandchildren. Sounds like the people in Gander are very loving and caring people to open their homes to total strangers. I know they are forever grateful! Thanks for stopping by from Newfoundland!


Love to hear your thoughts! What do you think?