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Honoring Heroes: The Resilient Head Start Teachers of 9/11



On September 11, 2001, the world watched in shock and horror as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were tragically attacked. This devastating event forever changed the course of history and left an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals. Among the many heroes who emerged that day were the Head Start teachers who demonstrated remarkable courage and resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.


The Children’s Discovery center sat mere feet away from the World Trade Center. While their parents went to work in suits, surrounded by paperwork and constant ringing of phones, these children sat tucked away at The Children’s Discovery center. It’s halls harbored classrooms filled with bright colors, toys, and smiling teachers ready to welcome their children.


A World of Happiness Comes Crashing Down:

On September 11, 2001, their innocent world came crashing down around them. The daycare was glass from floor to ceiling. Teachers and children stared out as the world came tumbling down around them and saw nothing but rubble and tragedy in front of them. As the towers collapsed and chaos reigned, these educators faced an unprecedented crisis that required swift and decisive action. Acting as true guardians would, instead of seeking safety for themselves, they prioritized the safety and well-being of the children in their care.


The Evacuation Effort:

The Head Start teachers played a pivotal role in evacuating these young children from their school, located just blocks away from Ground Zero. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, these teachers provided comfort, reassurance, and a sense of stability to their young charges while also thinking quickly on their feet.


Resourcefulness in a Time of Crisis:

Head Start teachers at Children’s Discovery Center wasted no time finding creative ways to evacuate the children in a safe and swift manner. The official evacuation plan was knocked out when the building they planned to go to collapsed later that day. Acting on instinct, these fearless teachers grabbed their children and ran close to three miles with them until they reached safety. Some teachers even stopped along the way to put children into shopping carts at a nearby store and continued on. Their quick thinking and ability to adapt to the situation played a crucial role in keeping the children safe and calm.


A Lasting Legacy:

The bravery and resilience of these Head Start teachers continue to inspire us today. Their unwavering commitment to the well-being of their students in the face of unspeakable tragedy serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit.


The Head Start teachers who responded to the events of 9/11 demonstrated remarkable courage, resourcefulness, and compassion. Their actions not only saved lives but also provided solace and support during an incredibly challenging time. As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, let us also honor and celebrate the heroes who emerged from unexpected places, like the Head Start teachers who showed us the power of selflessness in the face of adversity.

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