I was part of a group of UFT Teacher Center colleagues who opened and categorized the outpourings of gifts and supporting messages from students from all over the country, who had sent books, original drawings, lovely, sensitive letters, etc. for the school children of New York.
I was in tears most of the time as I opened boxes filled with the compassion, understanding, and solidarity of those students, and it was supremely gratifying to repack and direct the offerings to many schools, so that our students could experience the love and caring coming from children across the nation.
Despite the stunning shock and devastation of 9/11, it was genuinely uplifting and reaffirming to be part of the process of "emotional reconstruction" from a humane and supportive national community. As unforgettable as the horrors of 9/11 were, the memory of those many thousands of gifts and messages is the counterbalance that reminds me of our common, and essentially good, humanity.