Five years ago seems like a long time ago. For those who lost loved ones, each day has probably crept by with the pain and suffering associated with a grievous loss. Our entire nation felt that at some level, losing our innocence as we sat glued to our televisions watching the still unbelievable events unfold.
Now five years later schools struggle to determine what the appropriate message is that they want to give to their students about September 11, 2001. Just as the attack on Pearl Harbor is known as “A Day That Will Live in Infamy”, 9-11 is a somber day that will be etched in American minds and history books forever. Teachers want to present age appropriate information on the topic for their students.
For older elementary age children, drawing pictures helps relieve their fears and create a sense of security even in tragedy. Some teachers are adopting themes of peace and how to be a peacemaker. Most educators understand that the acts of war thrust upon the American people five years ago is much too sensitive a subject for early elementary students. There is a lot of fear about what happened in young children. Many teachers of early elementary classrooms will wisely downplay the significance of these events today.
Middle schoolers may discuss Oliver Stone’s movie “World Trade Center”, as well as some aspects of the 9-11 commission report. Some High School students will view live television coverage such as CNN and even watch a movie titled “9-11 Through Saudi Eyes” in order to try to create an atmosphere of understanding. These students were in elementary or middle school in 2001 and most likely have memories to share about where they were, when they first heard and what their families did in the aftermath.
Anniversary dates like today are important to remember so that we do not forget the tremendous sacrifice that many good men and women made that day and each day after fighting to keep us safe.
When pain is to borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.
-C. S. Lewis