The morning of September 11, 2001 dawned bright and lovely in the large Midwestern city I was living in at the time. Well, as bright and lovely as it can get in a ozone-filled, back-to-back-car-jam-prone metropolis. Hubby Dear was in his second year of medical school and I had a newly-minted teaching license and was working at an inner city magnet school.
My first hour class began at 8:10 central time (approximately 20 minutes after the first plane hit). For some reason, I was a bit late that day and was not in my usual position at the front of my classroom when the bell rang. I ran into another teacher right outside my classroom door. I was eager to get inside to take control of the 35 hormonal eighth graders that would commence to riot if I didn't present myself soon. Mrs. M., a grandmotherly, rather flaky English teacher, grabbed me by my arm and said, "Oh, Mrs. Harried Homemaker! I wanted to tell all you social studies teachers - a plane has run into one of the Twin Towers. You should turn on the television." She smiled benignly and bustled away.
"OK. I can do that", I mused. "I'll give my class their quiz and tell them if they do well, we can turn on the TV." In no way, shape, or form did I have a clue as to what was really going on. I pictured a small plane - you know, like a Cessna or something - crashing onto the side of a skyscraper. I really didn't see what would be historic about a plane crash that occurred so very far away from us, but decided to take Mrs. M's word for it. Heck, I could use an easy day and the TV might just transfix my students to the point where I could get some paperwork done.
I gave my students their quiz and, as promised, turned on the television. The scene that greeted us was far from what I had imagined. What in the heck was going on? It took us a moment to catch up to speed. Really, this is in New York? I didn't think this kind of stuff happened in America.
My students were excited more than anything. Perhaps that's because they had no relatives on the east coast to worry about. Maybe they were hardened to the imagery from watching too many action movies. All they knew is that the teacher was changing her lesson plan and allowing them to watch TV.
I did mention to them that they would always remember where they were when they heard of the Twin Towers tragedy - like my grandparents and Pearl Harbor, or my parents' generation with the Kennedy assassination. Some of them thought that was cool. Honestly, I kinda did, too. The idea that I was witnessing history was a bit intoxicating to this history teacher.
Clearly, I had no idea of the immensity of the tragedy. I didn't know that our nation was under a coordinated attack and that not one but four planes had been hijacked. Over the course of the day, we learned more about what was really happening along with the rest of the country. It took me a while - probably until I became a mother a couple years later, now that I think about it - to really grasp the enormity of what occurred.
Did 9-11 Lead Me to Prep?
|Remember when this was in the news?|
Well, considering I didn't start prepping until 2010, 9-11 didn't have much of an effect in that area. I continued living in that happy land called Denial. You know, the fairy tale land where nothing bad could ever happen to you or anyone you love? Do you remember when they created the Dept. of Homeland Security and started giving instructions on the use of plastic sheeting and duct tape? I totally ignored it. Nothing major was going to happen again in the USA, much less the Midwest, and certainly not in MY lifetime! In my opinion, Hubby Dear and I had all the trappings we needed to succeed and be happy and preparedness had no part of it. Nowadays, I measure success and happiness by a different scale and preparedness is part of the fabric of our family.
So, 9-11 isn't the main reason why I prepare, but the tenth anniversary of that horrific event reminds me to hold the course. We don't know what the future holds, but we do know that as long as we live, we will have the need for food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. I can't do much personally to stop Al Qaida, but I can certainly provide the simple essentials of life for my family.
So what's your story? Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? Did it affect your preparedness? I'd love to hear your stories.