Making 9/11 Anniversary a Teachable Moment
“Schools, certainly in our area…are going to tackle this because of the immediate connection to loved ones and neighbors,” said Peter Nelson, referring to the 2001 Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Nelson, director of our New York office, is part of the team working with the Tribute WTC Visitor Center to facilitate an educator workshop devoted to the subject. The workshop, titled “How to Talk with Students about 9/11, Ten Years Later,” was held Tuesday, July 12, and will be presented again on Thursday, July 14, due to high demand. The workshop explored: ‘What happened and why,’ ‘Rescue and volunteer efforts that inspired the nation and the world,’ ‘How our country and the world changed,' and, ‘Recording contemporary experiences to preserve and shape history.’ Educators were able to watch and listen to personal stories of those touched by Sept. 11th. Facing History’s Senior Program Associate Tracy Garrison-Feinberg, who facilitated portions of the workshop, said, “This is such an important history that it is time to be talking about the events of Sept. 11th in a way that our students are asking for.”
According to Wendy Aibel-Weiss, the tribute center’s director of exhibits and education, there has been reluctance among teachers to talk about the event because of the effect it had on students at the time. As the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, the center has noticed a shift. “There has been a total tidal change, and many more local schools are calling us. They are all teachers who say, ‘Okay, it’s time. It’s time for me to address this.’”
View our educator resources about Sept. 11.
Learn more about our work in New York.