We’re approaching another commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy. The occasion always catches me by the throat. I’m thrust back to that day at Riverside Applied Learning Center when my assistant principal and secretary, and I were suddenly thrown by the appearance of parents arriving for their children at the beginning of the day, just after we’d said the Pledge of Allegiance, Sung the National Anthem, and repeated our school pledge: “I am respectful, I am responsible, I am safe. I am prepared. We do our best work because we are here to learn.” We had no TV in the office. Some of the classrooms had them. But I couldn’t have watched as we were swamped making sure every child went with the appropriate parent.
The school was small about 300 students. I can’t imagine the chaos that must’ve come with more children and parents to deal with. Family issues boil over and involve schools. When parents split, there are usually legal documents stating who gets the child and when. Making sure every child goes where he/she is supposed to is a vital concern for school personnel. It was so even on the morning of 9/11/2001. Parents were frantic to get their children. Some parents couldn’t get away from work. I think the last student went home about six pm.
We managed, but it was hectic. And then none of us knew what was going on. Should we expect other attacks? Our school sat very near large oil containers. If these were hit, we’d pretty much be done for.
I wrote in the intro to ACT OF TRUST, Book 2 of The Second Chances Series, which takes place mostly in Maine, something of what we experienced that day.
AUTHOR’S PERSONAL NOTE
If you’re of a certain age, 9/11 resonates with you in the way Pearl Harbor did with the Greatest Generation.
We all know where we were when the planes hit the towers. Many lost loved ones or acquaintances, and we all have our stories.
My younger daughter and her husband moved to New York City on Sunday 9/9. On Tuesday morning, September 11, as the principal in an elementary school, I’d arrived at my regular time, around 7:15 to get a jump-start on the day. My husband normally left later for his downtown high-rise to miss the traffic. He never went in that day after receiving a call from a good friend telling him to turn on the TV.
It was three that afternoon before I knew my daughter and her husband were okay. Trying to keep staff, kids, and parents calm in the face of what we didn’t know took my focus. Parents flocked to the school to take their children home. Making sure students went with the right person took the full attention of my staff and me.
I was one of the very lucky ones. My family was okay.
So, ACT OF TRUST is a personal story to me. I admire those who’ve gone on after losing a loved one in this tragic experience. I can’t imagine it, though, as a writer, that’s my job. My intent was to honor their loss and commend their courage. I hope people find comfort in the happily ever after ending of this story.
I will send a portion of the sale of each book to the 9/11 Memorial Gardens and Museum. If you care to donate directly, as well, here’s the link: http://www.911memorial.org/
If you haven’t yet read this book, here are the links for it on all the channels.
Amazon print http://amzn.to/1KrBwEK
B & N http://bit.ly/1PO4pgb
Apple iTunes http://apple.co/1QoeJjA