Like most of us who lived through that terrifying morning, I can still recall almost every detail as if it just happened yesterday. It's still very emotional for me. I know it's going to be hard to walk them through the interactive memorial timeline as planned six times. To hear the voices, see the images, and watch the videos time after time, when I can still vividly recall them in my own mind... it will be tough.
But I know it's important.
My seventh graders were either newborns or still in their mother's wombs on this day in 2001. I have one student who celebrates this as her day of birth. And several more who know it as a measure of their upcoming birthdays. These innocent twelve year-old students have very little understanding of how this day has impacted all of our lives moving forward.
Today will be a day that I clear up their misconceptions (some I heard about yesterday when we completed a document analysis using a news article written about a survivor's experience as shared on September 12, 2001) and inform them of the truth. Today will be a day that I pass on a piece of history that has impacted me in ways even I probably will never fully understand.
Today, I will share with them the audio recordings, videos, flight manifests, and pictures of artifacts found at the scene. And then I will share with them my own 9/11 story, which they've been asking about for two weeks now.
I hope to walk away from today feeling like I've truly taught my students a lesson they'll never forget. Because then it will be worth all the emotion I feel.