2,977. 2,977 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends died after four planes crashed into the World Trade Center in the deadliest terrorist attack in history. Even as we pass the nineteenth anniversary of the devastating event, the painful memories of the event continue to be passed on to the youth through the experiences of those who lived through it and the after effects.
Some West High School teachers even made a point of discussing the attack, whether it be through minor mentions at the beginning of class, small moments of silence, or full-on discussions.
Mrs. Elwood, an AP Literature and Senior English teacher, was one such teacher, analyzing visual commentary on the attack and sharing the personal impact of the event on her during class. When asked why she chose to incorporate the attack into her classroom, Mrs. Elwood replied, “Just like so many Facebook posts have said, ‘We must not forget’, this is my way of making sure that we don’t. Mrs. Heinrich did a beautiful announcement the day of 9/11 that I appreciate tremendously. It’s just such an incredibly sad and horrifying experience that I think it is important that people do remember and honor the people that tried to be heroes that day and all those poor, unfortunate people that died.”
Another teacher that took time during class to discuss this event was Mr. Rugnetta, a U.S. Government and Economics teacher. Mr. Rugnetta has stated that he believes it is a history teacher’s responsibility to make sure all students understand the significance of this event. One of the activities that his classes participated in was a project about how the people that experienced this event first-hand remember it. For this project, students had to research three first-hand accounts and then share with the class what they found. In addition to this project, students read articles and discussed topics such as if 9/11 should be made a national holiday or not.
Students have their own opinions regarding the focus on 9/11. Clara Chao (12) stated, “While I do think we should talk about 9/11, I don’t know if we should spend all of class discussing it. It’s just important to remember what happened.”
Whether you weren’t alive for the event or lost a loved one during the attack, 9/11 continues to live on in the memories of millions of Americans and serves as a reminder of a time where drastic times brought our country together.