Where were you on September 11, 2001? I bet you remember. I remember that day as vividly as if it were yesterday. My practicum buddies and I were just getting out of the car at South River Elementary School in Grottoes, Virginia when we heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. No one thought much of it and I went into a Kindergarten classroom and played and painted and interacted with children for the next two hours. Upon leaving the classroom and walking down to the office to check out, my other practicum buddies were upset and talking about where their families were. It was then that I found out about the terrible tragedy of that day. We listened in horror and complete silence as we headed back to campus in my giant 1986 Caprice Classic. Then headed to class where it was "Art Day." We dyed pasta, made playdough, created salt drawings and other art projects all the while trying to wrap our heads around what had happened. Then it was off to my apartment to watch hours and hours of news coverage.
Today we remembered that terrible day 13 years ago by wearing red, white and blue and by listening to a special proclamation over the announcements. In my kindergarten classroom, I paid tribute to this day by reading Fireboat by Maira Kalman. Fireboat tells of the Heroic Adventures of a little fireboat named the John J. Harvey, who was used to fight fires in the 1930s. He was restored to his former glory in 1995 and was called into action on September 11, 2001 to put out fires after the twin towers fell. I've read this book to my students for years and every time I read it aloud I feel myself well up with emotion. With pride for my country and the John J. Harvey for being so brave. But also with loss for the terrible tragedy that happened that day.