Memories 9/11/2001 Ms. Foy
I reached to switch off the TV and froze, was that a plane that flew into that very tall building in New York? I stood rooted to the spot and a little while later another plane went into the other tower. Something horrible was happening in New York. I knew I had to leave or I’d be late for school. As I drove to school the news on the car radio made me realize our world had changed forever. As I entered the school I found a bunch of very frightened children. They had watched the news in their homes, and the TV in the child care room showed the horror live as it unfolded. When my 9, 10 and 11 year old children trooped into class, they were full of fear, full of questions. “Why are people blowing up our beautiful buildings, do they hate us, will they come after us next, who is going to keep us safe?” Some children were crying quietly. I wanted to switch the TV off but they begged me to keep it on. I was full of fear and shock myself, but I knew I had to do something constructive to calm the children and make them feel secure. We discussed how acts like these were fueled by hate and misunderstanding, and as long as our country stayed strong and united we would be safe. After a while I switched the TV off and encouraged conversations of patriotism, understanding and love. I encouraged the children to write, discuss, and draw what they were feeling. My main focus was not to feed their fear, but to encourage discussions of how hate and misunderstanding could be replaced by the power of love. As they wrote they began to calm down, it gave them a sense of control; they felt they were finding a solution to the problem. The children had seen the worst, but I wanted them not to lose hope. I started them off with a poem I had written after the Columbine tragedy in 1999
Fill Your Heart with Love
Fill your heart with love my friend, let there be no room for hate.
Fill your heart with love today, tomorrow may be too late.
Love is caring, love is sharing, love is beautiful and kind.
So fill your heart with love my friend, make hate so hard to find.
All the children wrote beautiful lines which we put together into a wonderful poem of love and hope.
The Power of Love
By the Upper Elementary class of 2001
Love is like a pretty flower,
Love is much better than hate.
Hate is like a fish stuck on fish bait.
Love is full of happiness and joy
Hate is like a broken toy.
A broken toy makes you sad
Hate makes you twisted and bad.
Love is wonderful
It helps in many ways
It throws out the bad, brings in the good,
And makes many happy days.
To love is to feel
To love is to care.
When a person stops loving
It is a horrible thing.
For no more good things,
Can this person bring.
So if everyone could help,
The world would be
Such a beautiful place.
And would welcome
Every human of every race.