Teachers are working hard to keep the nation’s deadliest terror attack from being just another story in the history books.
On the 18th anniversary of September 11, teachers must make students who weren’t alive understand the gravity of the terror attacks that led to the only world they know.
“There’s 18-year old seniors that are in school today that are fatherless because of those events,” Ben Stevenson told his U.S. government class at Sparkman High School.
For Stevenson’s class it’s a day away from the textbook, focusing on personal testimonies and emotion.
“I remember vividly as a seventh grader how the events of my day unfolded,” Stevenson said. “Getting the kids to understand that, how one event that seems like sometimes like a regular day can change the course of history, it can change their life.”
September 11 changed their lives whether they know it or not, from the start of America’s longest war to tougher airport security. Stevenson knows the value of using lessons from our history to create a better future.
“Remember the times post-9/11 and the amount of American unity that we had within the country,” he said. “And everyone remembers that, even me being a little younger at the time. So if we can just help our kids to remember that, to remember the American unity that we had and that we can have that not just when there’s a tragedy but we can have it all the time.”
These kids can’t remember that time of unity. Teaching history can stop it from being repeated, but as Stevenson’s class is learning, that time of American unity is a part of history worth repeating.
History teachers hope their students are inspired by the bravery of first responders on 9/11. They encourage them to read and watch whatever they can to put faces to those hurt in the attack.