A Day to Remember

September 11, 2001 - All of us remember this day. We each have our own story.  I was a new principal at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles. I remember so vividly, like yesterday, being called to the television early in the morning by my wife before we headed off for school.

 

In a bizzare video tableau, we watched the First Tower be struck, and collapse. And then, knowing that everyone in Los Angeles was watching too, we headed off for school as we knew right then that important decisions would be made.

 

The other administrators had seen the news, and we met in my office. We considered cancelling school, and rejected that idea. It was important to hold school as usual - and let parents decide what to do. We held school, we held a town meeting, we informed the students what was happening as best we understood it.

 

By then the second tower had fallen.  We did not know if Los Angeles would be next.  We were worried, but decided to stay the course.  By 12:00 PM Los Angeles time, several parents had taken their children out of school - fearing more attacks.  But most children stayed at school, learning.

 

In 2001, unimaginably, the TV services to the school were not ubiquitous. Early that morning, we huddled in my office listening to the radio.  Internet streaming had not been available, but from that day forward, we resolved to have news services directly fed to the school.  Today, Internet steaming makes all that possible, but the world was different in 2001, and we forget.

 

But, we can never forget 9-11. We must teach our children to remember, to respect, to mourn those deaths, and celebrate that bravery.


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