5 Ways to Commemorate September 11

wtc_p200003-1.jpgIt’s hard to believe that nine years have passed since the first and second World Trade Center towers fell.

Most of us remember September 11 like it was yesterday–I was in high school PE class. Many students, however, may be too young to have meaningful memories of September 11. All of us, young and old, can benefit from taking time to reflect on one of the most significant events in recent U.S. history.

This Friday, here are 5 Ways to Commemorate September 11.

1. Educate
Teachers and parents can help students understand the events of September 11 and the impacts on the global community with these educational resources from the National 9/11 Memorial. Watch webcasts, view collections of artifacts, read articles, and more.

National Geographic Education partners also offer a range of 9/11 resources through the Verizon Thinkfinity consortium. Of course, maps are great tools for visualizing historical events; check out the image above.

2. Share
Students and others old enough to remember September 11 can share their stories on the 9/11 Memorial Website by recording a short video testimonial, uploading a photo, or submitting a piece of writing. It’s a great way to practice public speaking, build media literacy, and cope with complex emotions.


3. Serve
The aftermath of September 11 sparked an inspiring outpouring of
community service outreach. Youth Serve America, one of the largest
service-learning organizations in the country, has just released a new
guide called Rebuilding Community: A 9/11 Semester of Service, a free
resource with ideas for launching a Semester of Service on 9/11.
Service-learning, both local and international, is a key component of a
well-rounded global education–check out the My Wonderful World August
newsletter
for more service-learning ideas.

4. Discuss
September 11 is living history with lasting impacts, including the wars
abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan. One issue that has been making
headlines recently is a proposal to build an Islamic Center near the
site of the attacks. Lead older students in discussing some of the
specific outcomes of September 11, and the arguments on both sides of
building the Islamic Center. Encourage respectful, objective analysis
of articles such as this one in USA Today.

5. Prepare
Learning about September 11 can be scary for young children. One of the
best ways to help students deal with the fear of an impending disaster
is to equip them with strategies for preparing themselves and their
families. Some of the most important considerations are geographic in
nature–identifying evacuation routes and meeting locations, safe spots
and emergency centers. Ready.gov and the Department of Homeland Security’s National
Terror Alert
website provide tools for creating emergency plans, kits
and maps.

Stay safe as you commemorate September 11 this weekend!
Sarah Jane

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