By Bill Henk – Yesterday marked the twelfth anniversary of the infamous September 11 attacks on the United States. It’s a date that I’ll certainly never forget, yet somehow my whole day came and went with barely a mention of it.
My wife explained that America purposely calls only limited attention to the event, so that terrorism gets no chance to celebrate our profound grief. I hope that’s really why. I’d hate to think that this dark day will ever be erased from our memories.
Like every American who lived through the tragedy, I deeply mourn the incredible and unnecessary loss of life, and the enormous number of families who were diminished through these merciless and cowardly acts. But I have found something extraordinary to celebrate in this dastardly chapter in American history — COURAGE. I can only imagine how much bravery arose in those directly immersed in the aftermath of the attacks, from the victims themselves to those who put their lives on the line to rescue them.
In overcoming fear, all of these parties to the event qualify as real heroes, and we should NEVER forget them.
But we have other real heroes in our midst who we should never forget either. And sadly, it’s another horrific event that is causing me to write about some of them now. Who? TEACHERS.
There is no way that I can exalt the work of our teachers and school workers any better than to direct you to an article from Education Week that was brought to my attention, ironically enough, on 9/11/13. It’s touches upon the courage that was displayed in Newtown, Connecticut, by those who worked in Sandy Hook Elementary School. The piece was written by Nelba Marquez-Greene, the mother of one of the fallen angels, Ana Grace.
Ms. Marquez-Greene celebrates teachers, not just for the uncommon courage that she saw on that fateful day, but rather for what they do all year round. Her real message is that we shouldn’t need the drama and the spectacle and the tribulation to appreciate those who toil so lovingly in our nation’s schools. Theirs is another kind of heroism. I strongly encourage you to read this fine piece by clicking on the image of her beautiful daughter.