The way the world works now is all they have ever known. They don't remember when traveling was easier... When we were more trusting as a country, and even as individuals... They don't remember when two immense buildings protruded from the NY skyline as a symbol of power & wealth.
This year with my 4th graders I tried to focus on the positives that came from this tragic event. It's always kind of sad that it takes an incident of this overwhelming grief to pull the US (or most countries, for that matter) together. In elementary school we teach patience & cooperation, yet the adults that lead our country can't abide these instructions. But at the end of that tragic Tuesday in 2001, we WERE unified. Everyone wanted to help. Everyone cooperated.
Today we discussed what it is to be a hero. Who are heroes? How can we as elementary school students be a hero everyday? Each student wrote a sentence detailing how they can be heroes daily. These are written on notecards, illustrated, and we are displaying them in the shape of the former Twin Towers-- in a sense we are rebuilding them in a display.
Watching the videos and trying to describe these events always leaves me speechless. How do you simplify such horror into words- let alone words that an adolescent can understand? In 2001 I was working at DIYnetwork and teaching HS colorguard. I have the utmost respect for those that were in the place I am now: teaching elementary students.
As the 12th anniversary arrives tomorrow, I encourage us all to go back to that feeling of cooperation, compassion, and unity that it took a horrific act of terrorism to instill in us.
May we never forget.