Remembering 9/11 Ten Years Later
In the coming weeks, the world will mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3000 people in and around the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and on flight 93 over Shanksville, PA.
Schools, houses of worship, and communities are exploring their own ways to remember the attacks and consider their legacy. How will your community remember? A critical part of the Facing History and Ourselves program considers how we choose to remember the past, and what those choices say about who we are.
Will your community have a public commemoration? How is the anniversary being talked about in the various media that you follow? Does your community have a monument or memorial to remember the attacks? If not, are there any monuments or memorials in your community? What story do they tell?
Below are links to several different websites that explore attempts to remember 9/11. As you view the sites consider:
- Who is telling the story?
- What story do they hope to tell?
- Who is the audience?
- What choices were made by those choosing to remember?
- How do those choices impact the story they tell?
- Compare the different choices individuals or groups made in their attempt to remember?
- What is the message that you take away?
This link to the Facing History and Ourselves website Memory, History, and Memorials discusses the spontaneous memorials that people created after 9/11, alongside links to several resources about the challenges of memory in the first few months after the attacks.
Website for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center, which will open on September 11, 2011 on the site of the former towers. The memorial site contains extensive resources on the new memorial and museum, on those who died as well as survivors and rescuers, on the history of the Twin Towers, and on responses, memorials, and tributes from many communities and schools.
Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers visitors to the World Trade Center site a place where they can connect with people from the September 11th community. Through walking tours, exhibits and programs, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers "Person to Person History," linking visitors who want to understand and appreciate these historic events with those who experienced them.
The Pentagon Memorial is designed so that the nation may remember and reflect on the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. The Memorial will be free and open to the public seven days a week. Groups and individuals are welcome in the Memorial each day, but guided tours are not offered; the Memorial is meant to be experienced on a more personal level.
Flight 93 National Memorial has a place on the nation's honor roll of iconic places which includes Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor. Why is this ground so special? Why is this story so important? What began as an ordinary morning ended as a historic day when a common field in Pennsylvania was forever changed. Discover a story of courage, action, and honor.
Lesson Idea: Creating Your Own Memorial to the September 11 Attacks
For years, Facing History and Ourselves has helped teachers design memorials projects. After establishing an understanding of the potential power of memorials and monuments, teachers and students construct their own personal monuments or memorials. In many cases, these projects are guided by a series of questions including:
- What would you like people to feel or think about when they visit the monument that you are designing?
- Who is it built for? Where would you want it to be constructed? Who will be the audience?
- What message will it convey? What point of view will it assume?
- How can your monument be most effective in connecting the public to the point in the past that you have chosen to remember?
Facing History’s Educator Workshop: How to Talk with Students about 9/11, Ten Years Later
This summer, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, Facing History offered a special workshop to New York City area educators. Facing History Senior Program Associate Tracy Garrison-Feinberg told an interviewer: “This event shaped the 21st century, and is to continuing to shape it. It’s is a crucial part of who we have become.”