Remembering heroes on 9/11

As an American and a New Yorker, the impact of the events on 9/11 has certainly had a deep personal impact on me.

I was actually traveling to visit schools in Florida the morning of 9/11. I left from Boston’s Logan International Airport, the same airport where two of the planes unknowingly carrying terrorists also departed. While I was half asleep, the pilot interrupted with the announcement that we were making an emergency landing and the plane quickly descended straight down and my life flashed before my eyes. At the time, no one was certainly thinking about a terrorist attack. We ended up landing in Charlotte, greeted by a flight attendant who said, “Welcome to Charlotte.”

The events of 9/11 have changed how we think of the world and how we appreciate our freedoms and our safety. It’s also changed the way in which we celebrate the heroes in our world…our military, firefighters, doctors, law enforcement officials, rescue workers, etc. And certainly I count teachers in that class as well.

I’ve long believed that the reverence and distinction we apply to heroes…and in many cases the way in which we celebrate military fanfare with symbolic medals of distinction…all need to be appreciated for the work that they do. When I think about 9/11, I think about celebrating and thanking the heroes who work tirelessly who help others, and I celebrate teachers in the same way.

(Photo Courtesy: Mark Lennihan/AP)