Monday, September 19, 2011

Remembering September 11

     I understand it is almost an entire week after September 11, but it was such a profound learning experience in my classroom that I feel that writing about it a week later can be justified :)

    To be perfectly honest, I hesitated even making a big deal about September 11 this year. I know it was the 10th anniversary, but lets me honest 1) None of my kids even remember this event, they were either one year old or being born! 2) I never seem to have enough time to get in the content I am SUPPOSED too teach without holidays interrupting! (am I correct fellow teachers?!?).  However, as my husband and I laid in bed Sunday morning, watching the news, reliving that awful day 10 years ago, I realized I HAD to share this with my kids!
    The events of 911 were a defining moment for our generation. Similar to the death of Kennedy in our parents generation, we can name the very thing we were doing when we heard the news of the plane crashes.  So much changed, both physically and mentally: an intense new focus on national security was emphasized, most particularly in airports (remember the time we could meet our loved ones as they came off the plane!??), a SAD, new negative stereotype of Muslims and the Arabic culture, the publicity of the only real WAR many of us have known, the reminder that life can disappear in a moment, a rise in patriotism, in American ideals, pride in our anthem and  flag, and a renewed love of our country and her people.
HOW COULD WE EVER FORGET SUCH A MOMENT IN HISTORY???? 

But for the new generation, that awful event that changed OUR lives is exactly that .... HISTORY. 
We MUST help them remember and pass down through the next generations what WE can NEVER forget. My student response was AMAZING. Their understanding of peoples grief and patriotism intensified as they watched a short film portraying the crashes, the falling towers, and the way our country came together. Their responses were powerful as they discussed the reasons why it is important to remember this day: 
"to remember the people who lost their lives"
"to celebrate the hero's and remember their sacrifice"
"not to discriminate against other cultures/people just because of some bad people"
"to be proud of our country and of being an American"
"to remember to be there for others (even strangers) and to help one another"
"we should be proud and stand tall when we hear the national anthem or say the pledge of allegiance"
"I will think of other people's loss and help as much as I can"
"ANYONE can be a hero!"

SO PROUD of my kids!!! *grinning*
 On chart paper we shared feelings, images, and words that we think of when we think of September 11 


My own apartment window ... in honor of September 11. Any of you remember the paper flag that was in the middle of the newspaper that we were to place in the window?? That is one of the neatest memories I have of September 11 - ALL THE FLAGS!!!! They were EVERYWHERE! Reminders that we were all together - UNITED WE STAND!



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