The Spirit of AmericaSeptember 2001
A Little Child Shall Lead Them
Shirley Shum and Mary Jacob, Teachers at-PS 234
an excerpt: fifth paragraph:
About 70 of the 660 students were left around 10 a.m., when the school was ordered to evacuate. Teachers grabbed kids by the hand and rushed to the street-and found it clogged with acrid smoke, fleeing pedestrians and the sounds of screaming sirens. Second-grade teacher Mary Jacob, 26, got out with a 7-year-old boy Tom Nellen just as the second tower collapsed. She didn't think she could outrun the thick cloud of blackness roiling toward them; when her legs gave out, she let go of his little hand and told him to run. "God forbid something was to happen, I didn't want it to happen to him she recalls. "So I was like, 'Go, you'll be OK'." Then Jacob realized the black smoke had stopped its inexorable rush forward-and it was her turn to be saved. The little boy came back for her and said, "C'mon. Let's go."
When his sixteen year old sister heard the story, (she was in this same school in 1993, the first attack on WTC) she simply asked in her newly developing sarcastic way, "Why!" To which he responded, "Cause she was my teacher, stupid!" She hugged him. They had a shared memory, albeit, a horrendous and scary one. It is important to know that his sister was a fifth grader in that same school when the WTC was attacked in 1993.
A Picture Tom drew about September 11, 2001.
PS. Where was DAD?!
Finally at home September 24, 2001
The Next Day.
A couple of minutes of 24/7 from where I live and sleep, or try to, Sept 29.
A new tower goes up Sunday, September 30, 2001.
"Tom's story and artwork inspired this image." Andrew Wernick, SF, artist and high school classmate of Tom's dad.
Christmas with Quesla, the llama.
We miss the towers, 6.21.02. Watching movies with them make us sad. They were ugly, but we miss them.