We are getting towards the end of my education blog series and for today’s blog, I wish to take a minute to discuss how classrooms can remember 9/11 in an appropriate and tactful way. It seems to be an appropriate time to do this, with today being 9/11. It hardly seems possible to me that this horrible day was five years ago. I am sure everyone remembers the moment they heard or saw the horror that occurred that day.
I remember it well. I was a newlywed and had actually taken a day off from teaching that day. My mom was up at the Mayo Clinic for some heart testing and my new husband and I had plans to drive the three hours to be with her and my dad. Then the phone rang; it was my best friend telling me to turn on my television. I turned it on just in time to watch in disbelief as the second plane hit the towers. Stunned, I watched and cried. My mom called and told me not to travel that day and other teachers at my school called me, knowing I was off that day. They had heard through the principal what was happening, but she was not allowing anyone to turn on their televisions if children were in the room. Our principal did announce what had happened, but essentially requested that everyone go about his or her day and not be alarmed.
That day will forever be with me. I didn’t even know anyone personally who died in the attacks, and I am sure for many of you, this day is even more difficult because you are remembering loved ones who lost their lives that day.
What can classrooms and schools do to commemorate this day with the students in their care? One teacher is suggesting that students of all ages write letters of appreciation to our armed forces stationed anywhere and thank them for a job well done. She recommends having students write letters to firemen, policemen, or any emergency personnel who help keep us safe daily and just simply thank them for what they do. After all, some of the most brave men and women were those who responded to the aide of people in need during this horrific day. Even men and women who personally weren’t responders that day still deserve a thanks.
It is an important date to remember. It is also a date that should remind us of what a great job these men and women do for us. What a neat way to remember those who lost their lives, by paying tribute to the professions that they loved so much.