It was a typical morning at Jefferson Davis High School. I was in my office gathering materials needed to teach my music appreciation class. As I headed out the door into the band room, the phone rang. Usually, I wouldn't take a call just before class, but expecting one, I quickly grabbed the receiver. My percussion instructor was on the line and he told me to turn on the TV - a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.
I envisioned a small prop plane which had somehow gone terribly off course. I could not have imagined what I would see when I hit the power button on the television set mounted on the wall at the front of the room.
My students and I watched in horror as the second plane slammed into the tower. It became quite evident that this was no accident and that we were under attack.
School effectively shut down at JD that day as we were all glued to our sets watching events unfold. As teachers, we didn't know what to say or how to answer the questions the kids posed to us. The biggest being, simply, why?
One year later, I prepared a halftime show to honor the memory of those who lost their lives on Septebmer 11, 2001. The memory was still fresh and emotions still ran high. Cramton Bowl fell silent as taps was played, and many were moved to tears.
With each passing year, however, we hear less and less about the tragic events of that day. In fact, most of our school children today are too young to have any memory of what we so commonly refer to as "9-11." We call it "Patriot Day," and rightly so. But we must never let it become just another "day."
In the midst of our football games and fun this weekend, I encourage you to spend some time remembering the events of September 11, 2001. It is important that we understand that ever since our founding, we have had to fight for our freedom in this country. We should honor and appreciate those who are in harm's way even now to protect my right to compose these words, and your right to express your opinions and worship as you feel led. Let us never forget.
May God bless you richly, and may God bless America!