Monday, September 10, 2012

What is different?

On this eve of our day of remembrance, take a minute to remember three things:
First; Where were you on that day? Second; How did you feel when you first heard? Finally; Have you made any adjustments since that time?

This is a day to remember, ponder and stop a moment to be thankful for all we really have here at this place called the United States. Consider our nation as unique in the world regardless of our personal political affiliations.

Our state of Missouri has good school policies that encourage us to serve students and put them first in both the people and the programs.

Our Lincoln County has many service organizations staffed with willing folks striving to help struggling citizens by volunteering and working. These roles support our neighbors that battle with many various issues, such as abuse or addictions.

Our cities and towns hosts us and encourages us to do our best by putting our best foot forward at events like the Warrior Dash or Turkey Trot, City Wide Garage sales or even assembling a Chamber of Commerce.

Our Schools are filled with wonderful staff, faculty, students, parents and support from the community. The staff takes pride in their tasks, making things presentable, preparing food and fixing anything! The faculty care for students like they were their own children. Our students seem to truly enjoy coming to school. The community and parents support the future by cooperating, communicating and connecting with school through pop-in visits, phone calls, letters and even technology. Our families want the best for their students and are working to help make this place reach it's potential.

Thank you.
Thank you to all the people that made the ultimate sacrifice.  Thank you to those that love someone who made that sacrifice.  Thank you to those that can only remember that sacrifice but have lived life differently in remembrance of that day.

We all remember where were on this day so many years ago. Some of our kids won't remember. But as we consider December 5th (Pearl Harbor Day) and how that relates to us, let's never let this generation forget.
At ground zero, the memorial fountain circulaltes water from the perimeter and returns after passing through the center, unlike a typical fountain flowing from the center out.
(Following is a guest post by a fellow-professional that organized a group trip that allowed me to take these and many other photos of the big apple. Her connections with her students, relationships with their families and persistence as a leader demonstrated a pure professional demeanor while guiding over seventy people and two commercial coaches through New York City. Well Done JN!)

The 9/11 attack happened during my first year teaching at Winfield. The thing I will always remember about that day is that it was the day I felt the weight of being an adult for the first time. It hit me right between the eyes. I was forced to put aside my fear, anxiety, and sadness in order to reach out and comfort a room full of high school students who were looking to me for how to react. What a heavy experience to share with a room of young people, who at that time were not much younger than myself.

Visiting the 9/11 monument in New York last year was one of the most somber moments I have ever experienced. I recommend the experience to everyone... you NEED to go! Just to see the names of all the people who lost their lives that day... it was overwhelming! While we were there, I talked with some of the students about their own memories of the day.

They were so young then that they hardly remembered anything! I think what hit home the most for me was seeing the name of a woman carved into the fountain, followed by the words "and her unborn child." How senseless was that day! How sad!

The world has changed a whole lot since then. I can remember a time when I could wait for my loved ones at the airport gate, go to a Cardinals game without metal detectors, and generally felt safe everywhere I went.

It's odd that most of our students do not remember that world. I still believe that America is one of the best places in the world to live. I am so proud and grateful for the people who gave their lives on 9/11 and who still put their lives on the line every day to protect our country!

Some of those brave people are my family members and kids who sat my classroom not long ago.

I just am reminded on this day every year, more than any other, that we should be a little more grateful and appreciative of those things we hold dear.

Jennifer Nafziger
September 11, 2012

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