I remember September 11, 2001.
But, I also remember September 12, 2001, when the hearts and minds of our nation were stirred to turn to God and people from all walks of life prayed. We prayed for the people still trapped beneath the fallen towers. We prayed for the first responders who had so bravely faced that horrible and tragic day. We prayed for the families who would have an empty seat at the table. We prayed for a nation that had been rocked from one coast to the other by the events in the east. We prayed for the soldier, men and women who would be leaving home to respond across the ocean to this attack. We prayed, and we worshipped, and we looked to God.
I remember the days following September 11th. The people of our nation were moved with patriotism and we were The UNITED States of America. There was no black…no Hispanic…no white, just American. Flags were raised on the homes and business of people of all colors and nat…(tharr be more)ionalities in our country. We joined hands with the people next to us in solidarity without first looking to see what color their skin was, or what political party they were part of.
I remember September 11th, and I’m left wondering: Why does it take tragedy and crisis to unite us? Why can we only seem to look past race and politics when we are in trouble. Hurricanes, earth quakes, floods, and terrorist attacks seem to force us to look past the surface. There we see the elements that unite and strengthen us. Patriotism…Loyalty…Tolerance…Love for Country and for our Fellow Man.
Today people will be remembering September 11th. But I wonder will they remember what September 11th revealed about our nation? Will the remember what we experienced together in the days following that tragic Tuesday? Will they regret that our nation has lost sight of that sense of unity in the larger community? Will they long for the spiritual drive of those days that compelled people to look toward the heavens in prayer?
Will it make a difference on September 11, 2013?
I have recently put together a professional teaching portfolio. I wanted it to reflect who I am as well as what I have learned and accomplished in the area of education. The cover is the picture below. I decided that this needed some explanation, so I included the following in the cover of the document.
COVER PHOTO EXPLAINED
The photograph on the cover of this portfolio is a picture taken a few years ago near Owego, New York. I have just found a “hidden treasure” while GEOCACHING with my family. GEOCACHING is like high-tech treasure hunting using GPS devices and the internet. Scattered around the world are secret stashes, to find them you log in to the website, locate a GEOCACHE site near you and off you go. The best experience I have had with this was a site in Northwest Maine. We had searched for a long time for the stash there. Everyone was ready to give up, but I refused to quit. My perseverance paid off and I located a small box buried beneath some branches. It was my second attempt and after that I was hooked.
I see teaching as a type of treasure hunt. Each child enters the classroom with abilities, gifts, and experiences waiting to be discovered. Too frequently, we give up and take the easy path. The greatest treasures, however, are not found on the wide simple paths, but in the narrow and risky trails that often take us beyond our comfort zone. Teaching is bringing the best out in each student, and being willing to sweat it out until that treasure is uncovered.
I have been glad every time I have found one of these GEOCHACHE treasures. They are nothing of value or worth to anyone else, but to me each experience is a priceless memory. I hope to find that same value and worth in the treasures that enter my classroom each day.
From Dave Bentley’s Professional Portfolio – September 2013
The Hidden Cache in Main that Hooked Me