Twelve years ago today I was sitting in my car on Concourse Village West and putting stuff in order to head into the old PS 156 (now PS 385 or 365) in District 7. I had the car radio on WFAN and Imus was on the air. He had just announced that a plan had flown into the North Tower at the World Trade Center. I recall looking up at the sky and seeing how crystal sky blue it was that day. How could this have happened as I heard Imus speculate that it was a Cessna that crashed and attributed it to pilot
I walked into the school and a few minutes later heard that a second plane had crashed into the South Tower. One plane, I thought to myself, is an accident, two planes, an attack. My son was ten weeks old at the time. I found a place out of the way in the school and sobbed. What kind of world did I just allow my son to come into I thought to myself.
I could see the towers burn from PS 156, which is right off the Concourse, near the Bronx Courthouse. Parents soon came, and the school was empty of students by 11 AM. I then made the trip home.
Driving up the Concourse seemed surreal. There were cars driving about, but there was an obliviousness to the cars. Were the people in the cars ignorant of what had just happened or trying to reach a safe place?
When I got up to DeWitt Clinton High School on Mosholu, I heard and saw a fighter jet. Man, that was just too much. Was this jet on patrol or after another plane? So many conflicting reports were coming in at the time.
What was not conflicting is that a reading specialist I worked with in the District 7 office saw the plane hit the South Tower on the TV set up in a conference room. Her husband was on the 101st floor of the South Tower.
This reading specialist was a teacher at PS 154. She was loved and respected both at 154 and in the DO. Many still remember her fondly at 154.
Today as school's across the City of New York, New York State, New Jersey, the nation and the world took a few minutes to pause in a busy morning to remember 9/11, life went on at PS 154 as if nothing had ever happened that morning in 2001. Not a moment of silence, not a discussion, nothing.
At my son's middle school in Harrison NY, a moment of silence was held for whom we lost on 9/11. Class discussions were held and questions asked by students who have no memory of this horrific event.
Yet at 8:46 AM this morning at PS 154, silence filled the PA system and silence and a chill ebbed from the heart of DR Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal at PS 154 in the Bronx.
Why wouldn't DR Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal at PS 154 in the Bronx allow a moment of silence, or at the very least, a moment of remembrance for the 3,000 victims of America's most brutal terrorist attack?
America's apologists feel shame when it is time to take pride in our country, in our culture, in our exceptionalism. The radical far left, the Bill Ayers type radicals feel shame and hatred towards the United States of America. I don't. I have raised my son not to.
But there are many out there that feel shame and hatred and feel that the US got its just desserts that day in September in 2001. I don't feel that. My colleagues don't feel that and my friends and family don;t feel that.
We are not perfect as a nation, or as a society. But we are perfect in our ideals, in what we stand for, and how we are there for one another when the chips are down and its 4th and long from deep in our on territory.
DR Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal at PS 154 in the Bronx could have taken a mere 60 seconds this morning to show students of the South Bronx what positive actions result from empathy and kindness and how hatred and anger will always hurt us. But she chose a different path, a path that some say might have its roots in the 60's and chose to ignore this day.
And to ignore the love all have felt for a beloved educator, someone that DR Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal at PS 154 in the Bronx knows well, who lost a husband 12 years ago today.