Today. 10 years ago. The world changed.
Every year I talk about 9/11 to my social studies classes. Every year the kids remember less and less. This year, well, my kids basically remember nothing.
Am I that old? Um , yes, but I am diverting.
So this year is obviously a little more emotionally charged than usual. And speaking with my students about 9/11, and watching (in my opinion) one of the best documentary’s from the day was harder than usual. I sometimes wish I was an unemotional being. I wish watching the twin towers fall 5 times in one day wasn’t so incredibly draining. It was.
It reminds me of my story of that day. It was my first year teaching. Actually, my first month (maybe 2nd week?) of teaching… like, ever. It was second hour, and one of my students ran in saying that a building in Chicago was on fire, and that I needed to turn on the tv. I kinda looked at the kid like he was crazy but figured that I would check up on what he was talking about. Well, I turned on the tv, and you all know the rest. (Yes, he was a little off on his facts, but he was like, 14…)
I often wonder what that student says about that day. How did he understand it? How did any of them? I know this world is filled with unknowns. No one (or at least not many people) knew what was going to happen that day. September 10, 2001 Americans believed that the world was good, we were in control, and that war was not on the way to our soil.
Well, weren’t we wrong?
I wonder about the future. Most likely something life changing will happen in my children’s lives. How can I prepare them for that day? How can I prepare them for something like 9/11 which has changed my life, and everyone’s life so drastically?
A couple years ago when I was in South Africa I was there for Nelson Mandela’s birthday. On his birthday, the country pulled together and every person was encouraged to go out and volunteer for a little bit of time on that day. They used Mandela’s birthday as a day to make their country better, exactly what the man himself set out to do. Although I am not exactly doing that this year, I hope in the future my kids and I can remember the 9/11 anniversary by helping out someone who needs it, or just doing a good deed.
Let’s remember that tragic day by making that day better. Let’s teach our kids about that day by mowing a neighbors yard, or volunteering to help a group of people who need it. I know my children won’t have any sort of memory of that day, but I don’t want them to be ignorant to it. I want them to appreciate the heros of that day, mourn the people who died that day, and not be hateful to people who look like/have the same religion as those who planned that day. I know this sounds quite “hippieish” but since that day started with such hate, I want to teach it through love.
Let’s remember 9/11 with that.