Teacher Reactions to Terrorist Attack on the U.S.

Take a look at emails from teachers around the world as they express their feelings about the American tragedies that occurred on September 11, 2001.
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Teacher Reactions to Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.

On September 12, 2001 TeacherVision® received the following email:

Dear Educators,
I am an Australian teacher who has been using your site for a long while. 12 hours ago I woke to hear about the terrible tragedy in your country. Our students at school, our staff and parents are all in shock. You must all know someone involved – I can't begin to imagine your situation. I just wanted you – who I feel a professional link with even though I don't know you – to know that our prayers and thoughts are with you.
Judy F.
Sydney, Australia

We have received many emails from teachers in response to Judy. We also heard from educators who wanted to convey their thoughts and feelings to their colleagues. Theirthoughts are below.

Dear Judy,
Your kind words are much appreciated. There are people and entire nations for whom human life has little value and you and I can't begin to understand them. All we can do is care for each other and hold on to our basic human compassion and decency. Your message reminds us that we are not alone. We appreciate your prayers and genuine sympathy more than you know.

Cheryl H.

Thank you for your thoughts and concerns. It is nice to hear some concern from a country other than the United States.

T. Lee
Darlington, SC, USA

Dear Judy,
It was so nice to hear from someone in another country. Over the past month we have watched scenes of many countries praying for and paying tribute to the USA. It truly means alot to us as Americans to have the support of other countries in a time of tragedy like this. Please continue your prayers. From what we are hearing, television cannot even begin to express the real picture. I am a Southern Baptist from North Carolina, it means a lot to know that we have members of the North Carolina Baptist Disaster Team at the Pentagon serving meals to the clean-up crews and a unit in New York. I live in a military town and at troubled times such as these, everyone is on edge. Please continue to pray for our country, our wonderful President George Bush, and all countries involved in the "Strike on Terrorism."

North Carolina, USA

Dear Judy in Australia,
Thank you so much for your message of concern and condolence. You are correct when you say that our tragedy is very difficult for us. I teach in Dover, Delaware. We are close to both bombing sites, and several of my students have ties to people in both locations. I am luckier than most educators in my area, as I teach eighth graders in a Catholic school. We are able to pray and share our grief through the comfort of God's word. We take solace in the knowledge that we are supported in our grief by caring people such as you.

My students watched in horror as the events unfolded. We were gathered in our library watching the news broadcast when the second tower collapsed. Luckily for us, our first Life Teen Mass was already scheduled for 11:00 a.m. The students were able to deal with the shock and horror immediately. They have been able to write, talk and pray about their confusion, anger and fear. Please continue your prayers for us all.

Our course of action, as a nation, will require our patience, our guidance from God, and our support of the people we have in our leadership positions. Pray for our leaders. Our local Air Force community is also directly affected by the tragedy, as we are the only military morgue on the East Coast. Please keep all of the people who are working in that capacity in your thoughts and prayers as well. They have a most difficult and unenviable task, and it will not be accomplished quickly. Pray too, for the members of our military and for their families. I, like other spouses of military personal, am concerned about the ramifications for my husband. Make no mistake, I will support my country's mission and my husband's duties. As we know all too well from our history,"Freedom is not Free."

Once again, I want to thank you, on behalf of the educators in my school, for your kind words and for your support.

Roberta F.
Holy Cross School
Dover, Delaware

Dear Judy,
Thank-you for your thoughts. It is comforting to know that others around the world are supporting those of us affected by this barbaric act.

Each day that I depart and return home from teaching, I view the New York City skyline and the smoking ruins. To see it, right in my own backyard, to know people who have lost loved ones or dug through the debris, has made it so very real for me; like no other event in my lifetime. I can't begin to explain to you though, the spirit that has come out of this. People all around me have changed. The small kindnesses exchanged between strangers, the patriotism, vigils, prayers......it is absolutely amazing.

I would like to think that those innocent victims did not die in vain. For this tragedy has sparked the human spirit and renewed values that I personally thought were lost somewhere in our history. The passion I feel as I write, for my country, my freedom, my God and all souls........I see it in the eyes of everyone around me. I truly think, that people at least in this tri-state area, have been changed forever, for the better.

Thank you again. It is compassion like yours that touches our hearts and fuels our spirits.

Terry L.
New Jersey

Thank you for the kind thoughts. Many children in the tri-state area have had to deal with one or more parents among the missing. It is very sad.

I teach in Jersey City, NJ which has a large Arab terrorist community. Yes, terrorist. In and among the peace loving Muslims lies a sinister group. They were responsible for the last disaster at the Trade Center as well. Our skyline has been changed. Our lives have been changed. Our view of others has been changed. We are not a perfect people, but like all good, ethical people we strive to be better.

The people who died did not deserve to have their horrible deaths celebrated on the streets of Palestine, Afghanistan, and yes, the streets and rooftops of Jersey City.I'd like to take this opportunity to express my admiration for the mayor of NY, Rudy Guiliani. A calm, thoughtful leader who has had the task of organizing relief and rescue efforts as well as keeping us all on a even keel.

Thank you for letting me vent my thoughts. Please keep us, especially our president and his advisors, in your prayers.


To Judy
Thank you for your prayers and concerns. We will get through this. Keep up your prayers. It is nice to have this service also to share.

Thank you again,
Diane G. W.
Phoenix, AZ

Today upon returning to school, as my pre K sat in circle, we started our prayers for the people who were afflicted...very simply I said "let us prayer for all those who need our prayers". One little girl raised her hand and simply said....“yes, because God made this world clean and bad men made it dirty, now we need to clean it up”. I thought this could not have been said more perfectly coming from the eyes of a child. It is so very true and gave me chills from head to toe.


As an American who teaches first grade just West of Boston and livesNorth of Boston, I want to thank everyone worldwide who has expressed their concern for all of us. Isn'tit too bad that we all could not live in harmony all of the time.....

Wishing you all good health and peace.

Lauren J.
Arlington, MA

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 in The United States of America were horrifying for all of humanity in all countries. As a Canadian, having this happen to our neighbor was completely devastating. My students were shocked, saddened, confused and angry. As an educator, I tried my best to answer the difficult questions my students asked and tried to listen to their innermost thoughts. As a school, we have mourned with moments of silence and together reflected on the disaster trying spread empathy and love.

Our hearts are with the victims. Together we shall overcome.

S. Reynolds
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Dear Educators,

I have been struggling to cope personally and professionally with the tragedies that have struck the United States. I was at a class tonight and came to the realization that the one thing that I can do to help this world, not just this country is to educated myself on the foreign affairs. I am in shock and disbelief at what happened and my heart and prayers are with the families who are still searching for their loved ones and the families who have lost someone.

The truth is though that we as Americans don't know all of the reasons why those people flew our civilian planes into those buildings. There must be a lot of resentment towards Americans that we as Americans are not aware of. We need to begin to demand of our government that we need to know why. They must know more. The sensationalism that is on all of the news reports is only angering people. I challenge all of us as educators to educate ourselves first on foreign affairs and there we may hopefully find the answers on how to help the little ones.

Judy M.
Chicago, IL

To all educators,

September 11th, 2001 changed the world we knew forever. I am so sad. I'm sure my tears joined the cataract shed by all who teach and care for our students.

It is time for action, not a meaningless lip-service to a philosophy of tolerance of different races, cultures, languages, looks and class.

We have the power within our classes to WORK FOR PEACE - every word we speak, our demeanor, our lives can be dedicated to a resolution that will ensure the world may be there for our students' children to appreciate.
My thoughts and love are with you,

Sheri G.
Junior High English
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada

Dear Educators,

I believe I speak for many Australians when I express my deepest sympathy in the aftermath of the WTC tragedy. Your loss is shared,our grief is profound. So many beautiful lives gone in this horrific way is so hard to comprehend. There are no more words, just a shared spirituality of love and friendship from our land to yours.

With deepest regrets,
Faye McG.

My heart and prayers go out to the teachers that live nearer to the sites . I know the impact it has had on my students and personal children here in South Carolina Your job has been made harder by hate. We as teachers touch so many lives and this is a hard thing to explain to little ones. I pray that you can ease your pain while you are easing pain of the children. Thanks for doing your job.

Janet F
Lake City, South Carolina

To all educators,
I am a teacher in the US Virgin Islands that teaches Social Studies( Caribbean History). I have the most vivid memory of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. It was second period and my class was having a discussion on exploration. Soon a student from my first period came and bolted in my classroom bearing the bad news she heard from the office radio. In that instant, I had to ask my class forcefully to be quiet and have my student repeat what she said slowly so that I could understand exactly what she was saying. I didn't believe what she said at first. The second time she told us the news, I used all I could not to cry and goosebumps flew over my entire body(in 90 degree weather). My class was in total shock.

For the rest of the period, I did my best to calm my students down. It was an awesome task because I myself was in a wreak. I later found out that one of my students in my third period class had a relative in the Trade Center Building. She tried to hold on as best as she could to hold on during our conversation, but she couldn't. She gently laid her head down and cried silently. Everyone throughout the entire territory was shocked and depressed. Everywhere I turned, educators and others had dejected faces and just wanted to go home. At the end of my school day, I went home called my fiance to see if he was O.K. and watched the TV and for the first time in the day cried until my eyes were red and sore.

To all who have fallen victim to this heinous attack our prayers and God's guidance goes out to you. Our prayers go out to everyone in this time of rejuvenation. It is now time to teach our students about the importance of other cultures, the importance of history and how it affects all societies. We must rise up above the fear placed upon us and show that violence will not be tolerated against anyone.

God Bless and Guidance
Lauren V.
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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TeacherVision Staff

TeacherVision Editorial Staff

The TeacherVision editorial team is comprised of teachers, experts, and content professionals dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and relevant information in the teaching space.

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