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Tiny, Glittering, Stones

Dear Diary,

I was not intending to write about 9/11. I was going to leave that to so many other eloquent writers and to those who had grave and triumphant stories about that day to share. What more could I add to so many heart wrenching tributes? I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to watch any of the tenth year documentaries on the subject. I have a tendency to want to avoid things that I know will make me sad. But I did watch. And it made me cry again to remember so many people’s pain and loss. It also made me remember something that I learned about myself that day.

In September 2001, I lived in in a Virginia suburb of the Washington D.C. area. I was working as the Assistant Director of a Preschool/Daycare. Our school was directly across the street from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) building. I was at an appointment when the news about the twin towers hit. Upon hearing of this tragedy and the confusion surrounding it, I rushed back to the school. By the time I entered the parking lot there were snipers stationed on the roof of the FAA building. This seemed bizarre and disconcerting to say the least. My school was in lock-down mode by the time I arrived. All of the children and teachers were moved into the basement classrooms, doors and windows locked, blinds closed. I must say that the teachers did an excellent job of keeping the children and themselves calm and occupied throughout that tense day. The Director and I stayed upstairs to keep apprised of further instructions from our main office, manning the phones and assisting frantic parents who came to pick up their children. As the day unfolded we learned of the attack on the Pentagon, which was not too far away, the heroic crash of flight 93 and the fears of further attacks. This is when I realized that I would do it. I would put myself in harm’s way for the safety of the children in my charge if I had to. I was determined to be ready if the situation presented itself. I would not have known this about myself had I not been put in that position. I did not end up having to test my resolve in this matter, but I’m glad that I know this about myself. If I was ever in a similar situation (God forbid) I know that my brain would loop back to that day and grab that same resolve. Even as I sit here writing about it I can feel the determination welling inside.

My part in the tragic play of 911 is tiny and insignificant. So many people had tremendous and harrowing roles in this unfortunate Act. However, I do believe that anyone who shed tears for the losses or tried to make things even a little bit better are all glittering stones in the amazing mosaic of the Human Spirit. One shiny pebble of kindness or care is beautiful, but put all together it is a piece of artwork that is stunning to behold. It is always startling to remember that tragedy and adversity bring out our shining best. We will not forget.


Comments on: "Tiny, Glittering, Stones" (29)

  1. Beautiful words. And I don’t think your part was tiny and insignificant. You played an important role for many. xo

  2. Wonderful insight into your day on 9/11, Kellianne. As I said somewhere else, everyone has a 9/11 story to tell and none are insignificant. I felt the same way as you about posting about 9/11, but it felt like the day couldn’t be let pass without some comment.

  3. I, for one, am glad you wrote about your experience and shared it with us. Moments like those can help us realize who we really are, what we care about, and what we would do to protect those that count on our being there for them. Well written, well said!

  4. How scary! Those children were lucky to have you. Glad you did choose to share your story because your words have a place as we all remember.

  5. Not at all insignificant. You did what you had to do. You found it deep down inside and didn’t ask. You just did it. That is what remarkable people do.

    Great post.

  6. No part was insignificant that day. We all remember that day so vividly, so even if we don’t realize how it affects us all the time, the fact that it’s such a present memory tells us it was something unforgettable.

  7. I remember exactly where I was when all this took place, and still cry everytime I think about it. I watched an episode on History Channel Friday night about it and sobbed through the show. It was the first time in ten years I could make it through one of them. I have not even been able to watch the movies surrounding the heros of that day, because my whole soul aches for the loss. Excellant blog today. Perhaps this anniversay will mark a time for all Americans to heal.

  8. Very well said and very well written. Thanks for sharing your thoughts of that horrible day.I,like you didn’t want to watch the remembrances of that day. But I found that once I started watching, I couldn’t look away. I was at once both sad and angery.I suspect that I wasn’t the only one. Thank you again for sharing.

  9. valerie masters said:

    What a beautiful story, its the little touches from ordinary people that give us hope, 9/11 had such a heartbreaking effect on so many.

  10. Kellianne – So glad to know a beautiful person like you and to know that the children at your school have an admirable person such as you, who put her own welfare aside to watch out for others. You did not play a small role! You played a big role. You made sure you were there if you were needed to fill a hole in a child’s heart! May God bless you always and immensely for the kind and generous person you are.

    • I am so flattered by your words. What you say is beyond kind. I like to think that we all could find inside of ourselves the strength to do what needs to be done when it’s really needed. Something that was so beautiful as a result of that day is that for a moment everyone was ready to care for each other.

  11. You gotta share what you gotta share. Thanks for being honest. We are writers for a reason; we turn memories into words.

  12. Kellianne, thank you for the invite to checkout your blog. 9/11 was and continues to be so much to so many. A death nell for so many, a black eye to a nation, a wake up call for those with a belief in freedom, a horror story for us all. Godspeed to you and yours DJ Humphrey

  13. Beautiful, just beautiful! No matter if you were at ground zero or not. This tragedy affected the whole world. It sent ripples through the sea of humanity. And those shiny pebbles still ripple today. Thank you for sharing. I am glad you found positive in such a tragic day.

    If you are up to reading, I have a poem after my story here:

    • Thank you so much for your compliment. I went over to read your story and poem and found it very touching and heartfelt. You are right, it effected us all and connected us all. Best to you.

  14. Beautifully written, Kel! I, too, was planning to avoid the repeated sadness on the 9/11 anniversary, but am so glad I read your entry. xoxo

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