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Carol Perkins: Lest We Forget

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By Carol Perkins

Twenty years later and the images do not lessen. The feelings come back as if I am in that classroom, checking the morning roll, and getting ready for the students to watch the morning educational news show. A knock on my door happened first. "Turn on the TV to a regular channel." By the look on my co-worker's face, I knew to hurry. Then the principal's voice interrupted the morning routine, instructing teachers to turn on the TV.

By then, these middle school students were suspicious. No sooner than the screen flicked on did I see the second plane. The silence in the room was choking. One whispered, "What's going on?" I replied softly, "I don't know." I thought a plane had crashed, accidentally, into the towers.

We listened as newscasters relayed pieces of the truth as it unraveled. As chaos reigned over New York, in Pennsylvania another attack was about to happen.

I knew students would react to my reaction, so I remained outwardly calm. Parents began to pick up their children. The rest of the day was a blur. Did we go home early or finish the day? I can't remember, but what I do remember was the feeling that for the first time in my history, war had been declared on America.

When I visited Ground Zero a few years ago, I knew I was standing on hallow ground by the eerie feeling that overcame me. I looked at the names of those who had fallen from windows, first responders who risked their lives, and brave citizens climbing crumbled stairs, hoping to save friends, co-workers and strangers.

We relive 9/11 to remind us that this could happen again. When the enemy finds his way to our hometowns, we have reason to be nervous. We have faith it won't ever happen again, but all of us sleep with keep one foot on the floor!

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2021-09-10 13:12:07
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