High schoolers recall 9/11

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – As the country came together to remember September 11th on Tuesday one classroom of 32 students at Penn High School did the same. 11 years ago many of them were just barely old enough to remember it.

"I wanted them to think and reflect about the day, but in ways they might not have ordinarily done," said the senior English teacher Mary Nicolini.

Some of the students read children’s picture books, others examined newspaper covers, and some sifted through obituaries of those lost.

The variety of images spread across the room are all things many Americans have vouched they will never forget, and they’re not alone.

"I was in first grade I remember being at the bus stop, and that’s when all my neighbors ran outside and told us what had happened," said senior Abby Hildebrandt.

Others her age had already made it to school that tragic day.

"I was 6, 7," said senior Travis Snyder, "I remember sitting in first grade and my teacher getting a phone call and her turning on the TV we had in class."

No matter where they found their young selves that day, this generation is one of the lasts that will be able to recall the events of that day.

"It'll be taught, kind of the same way Pearl Harbor is taught, to our generation now," said Snyder.

"You go over it in class, you study it, they have you write research papers on it and everything else," he added.

Their teacher agrees.

"Unfortunately it may become how students view other horrific atrocities, such as the Holocaust," said Nicolini.

"We do a very good job on impressing upon them that the Holocaust is bad, but they just kind of become numb to it sometimes," she said.

Nicolini had each kid in the class jot down on a yellow post-it note what they remembered from 9/11.

While their individual experiences differ they are a part of a country that was impacted by the same event.

"Even though we were young it still makes it something that was closer to our hearts," said Hildebrandt.


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