Originally posted by gato927 on September 13, 2021 19:44
Originally posted by freemanjud on September 11, 2021 14:05
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)
It was a Tuesday and my mother went to work. It was a sunny September morning. Her boss had gone to Russia to adopt his son, so she was in the office with this man, named Keith. Their offices were next to each other, and around 9 a.m. he yelled, “Oh my god! A plane just hit the World Trade Center!” A couple months earlier my father had started working at his job in the Seaport. "My first thought was I need to call him. I called him and immediately asked if he was okay. He responded 'Umm, yeah. Why?' I told him that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center, and he was like 'What?'" A few minutes later they found out that the planes had hit the World Trade Center in New York City, not in Boston. They watched on television as the second plane hit the second tower. "It was awful. There were people running everywhere trying to get away. People jumping out of the buildings. It was awful.” She didn’t leave though. She sat watching the television as the towers fell. My grandmother was away in Colorado for work. Like the rest of America, she had heard exactly what happened, and was unable to board the plane because of airport restrictions. She had to drive back to Boston with her coworker, and never flew on a plane the same way again.
One thing that had changed after September 11 was airport security. Airports added new restrictions on travel, domestic and international. “Another thing I noticed that changed was the patriotism in the United States. No one cared who you were at that moment because you were an American.” Another thing that stood out to me in 2001 was that there were no planes flying. The sky was silent. Now in 2021 there are planes, but around that time it was silent. Since 2001, some things have changed like airports and patriotism in the country. But most things stayed the same. People still don’t agree on what should happen.” Around the time of 9/11, many people wanted to go to war, and if you didn’t want to go to war you were seen as un-American. Today in 2021, we can still see a divided country of people who don’t agree on what should be done for the good of the country.
My parents said similar things about the impacts of 9/11 including the security and the patriotism. I thought what your mom said about the sky being silent was very interesting. I hear planes overhead all the time so it really shows what an impact the event had.