On a sunny September morning, not unlike the one that dawned 19 years ago on September 11, 2001, WTA middle school along with their teachers, gathered together in an appropriately distanced outdoor assembly to reflect, remember and pay tribute to the thousands of innocent lives that were lost because of the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City—both on the day itself, and in the nearly two decades that followed.
Head of School Deganit Ronen spoke to those gathered about a friend and mentor of hers who’d been a principal of a school located very close to the towers, who shared her memories of the chaos on that terrible day. Later that night, her friend recollected, she had been hit hard with the realization of the awesome and overwhelming responsibility she had as a school principal, with so many precious lives entrusted to her care.
Rabbi Avi Hoffman spoke next, and related a story about how 10 years ago, a U.S. military journalist traveled with U.S. soldiers around a village in Afghanistan and showed the villagers pictures of the Twin Towers in smoke and flames. He asked them if they knew what this was about. To the journalist’s surprise and dismay, neither the younger generation nor the elders of the village knew anything about 9/11. In only 10 years, the memory of that world-altering event had been lost. Today, it impresses upon us the importance of continuing to talk about and remember important events in our history, or we are liable to forget them completely. And we are reminded that we must have hakarat hatov for this country, and recognize those people who suffered and sacrificed for the freedoms we are blessed to have.
The assembly concluded solemnly with a moment of silence and the blowing of the shofar. May the memory of the fallen be a blessing and may we continue to remember them always.