I cannot recall the words I used to soothe my juniors on that horrible day. However, the soul-deep pain remains remarkably sharp in my emotional memory.
Vaguely I can see my son, a senior at the same high school, enter my classroom to check on his mom, the American History teacher. Seeing his face, I wanted to go to pieces.
It was later, in the local newspaper, that I discovered not only the words I shared with my students but the transforming pain they endured watching their country attacked.
(For the writer’s privacy I’ve deleted their identity)