Readings and watchings:
- “September 11th as it Happened.” (28:20)
This video is a composite of all the key news footage that was produced between 8:30 am and noon on September 11, 2011. It’s a bit long but well worth watching.
- Mitchell Zuckoff, “A 9/11 widower refuses to succumb to hate. Can the country do the same?” Boston Globe, September 4, 2021.
What to do in class around the anniversary of September 11th is always a challenge but no more so than now when we are a class in which you were born—most likely—sometime between 2003 and 2005, correct? Your memory of this has to be from later, perhaps from things you heard or saw from family, friends, the media, or in school. Perhaps some of you and your families were directly affected: you lost family members or friends or had extended family/friends affected by what happened that day.
We will spend Monday, September 12th in class reflecting on the significance of 9/11, especially given that it is the 20th anniversary of the event and that the United States has just pulled its troop presence out of Afghanistan. And then we’ll dig a bit deeper.
Read or watch the above linked materials. They will at least ensure that we are somewhat on the same page with basic info re September 11, 2001. To be certain, we have witnessed umpteen terrorist or terrorist-linked attacks since, including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. But still, September 11 really launched the 21st century in terms of the growth of terrorist attacks on major targets, like the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, etc. What’s happened in the intervening years in Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Istanbul, etc. remind us of the attacks that occurred in this country.
After you watch the video and read the story of Jack Grandcolas, who tragically lost his wife and unborn child on 9/11, I’d like you to interview someone very informally. Insofar as you were quite young on 9/11, I ask you to interview an adult who has a clear memory of September 11th—maybe a parent or maybe another adult. Ask them these (among other questions of your invention!):
- Where were they on 9/11?
- What do they remember about the day overall as well as the big events of the day?
- Were they directly affected in some way by what happened?
- Did they know anyone who was?
- And ask them as well: how did life/this country/the world change after 9/11?
- If it was different on September 12, is it still different now?
- What’s changed? What’s stayed the same?
- And do they see any relationship between the ongoing political debate in this country and what happened on September 11th?
Note: Take general notes on what your interviewee has to say. We don’t need a transcript. We will all be eager to hear what you discover!
Without disclosing the name of the person you interviewed, briefly share/summarize their story with us. For instructions on how to post, see this doc (but the version in Google classroom)