Your Reflections on 9/11

So, all of us remember where we were on the morning of September 11, 2001.  This is the defining moment for many of our students who will forever be in a world where such unwarranted destruction can happen at a moment’s notice.  A world where we are fighting a war against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction that we can’t even see and not doing a great job of winning against our enemies.  

 Visit these sites about 9/11 and then share with the class on the blog what  you were doing on that day and how you handled it with your students, family, friends, etc.  Did you use it as a teachable moment? Did you think your students were too young? Did you watch television that week–none, some, a lot? Did you pause on that Friday for the moments of silence and prayer at the nationwide vigil?


US newspapers

International newspapers

From the Newseum in Washington DC

From Poynter



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12 responses to “Your Reflections on 9/11

  1. Derrick Hester

    On September 11, 2001, I was a junior in high school. I remember sitting in my Algebra III class around 9:00 in the morning when I heard the news that the World Trade Center had been attacked. I could not believe that anyone would do this to the United States. Up to that point in my life, I thought that the United States could never be attacked by some foreign group. I thought that the United States was the most powerful nation on the planet and surely no one would be able to attack this country. After the news of the attacks, my math teacher could not keep our attention on math. We were more interested in what was going on in New York and Washington D.C. than the square root of 169. After she realized that we were not paying any attention to the lesson, she let us watch the news the remainder of the period. I remember watching the news the entire day at school. Weeks after the tragic events, I was still watching the news. I do remember taking the time and pausing on that Friday to remember the tragic events. However, on that day, it opened my eyes. It showed me that my country was and still is vulnerable to terrorist attacksI

  2. Kenric Minges

    September 11, 2001
    I recall being at work and we just sort of shut down for the day and watched the internet news videos. My son called from West Point as he was a member of the freshman class and had only just begun classes. He told me that the campus was swarming with men in sunglasses and bulky coats. Later, in 2005 when he graduated, there were exactly 911 graduates out of the 1,200 cadets who started out with him. I flew to New York for parents day the first weekend in October of that year. As we circled Manhattan on our approach to LaGuardia, ground zero was still smoking. My son has been at war ever since.

  3. On September 11, 2001, I was at the Tuscaloosa City Board trying to teach a workshop on web site design. We found it impossible to connect to the internet and were just chatting waiting on the network. Someone arriving late said that NPR was reporting a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. We speculated on whether or not it was a small plane since one had run into the building before, but later found out the magnitude of it. A person from the Board Staff came to get us and took us upstairs to watch CNN and we saw the 2nd plane fly into the South Tower. We all realized this was a major event and so the teachers decided to go back to their schools to help with whatever was needed.
    I packed up and went back to my office at UA, but soon realized that my internet was still pretty slow and that I needed a TV so I went to Ferguson Center to watch it on the big screen TV there. It was also a good thing to be with other people as we continued to get reports of the other 2 planes not accounted for and then heard of the Pentagon crash and finally of the plane crashing in Pennsylvania. After watching the WTC buildings collapse on live television, I decided that I had had enough media overload and called my sister to see if she wanted to bring her newborn out for lunch. We met and ate lunch and still watched TV and all of the news going on, but somehow holding that new little one made the hurt for me a little more bearable.
    I did worry about all my former high school students and wonder who was working or going to school in New York. As it turned out, no one from my circle of friends or family was hurt or killed in the attacks, but it still left a major black mark on my heart. I prayed for all those who lost their lives on the planes and in the buildings and I prayed for all those left behind and all those who didn’t know where their loved ones were and all those in the NY area who couldn’t get to their loved ones.
    Every year I reflect on what these attacks have done to the world and to the US. I believe that we are indeed to continue fighting terrorism around the world and do all in our power to prevent it from touching our shores again. I also believe that there are many who have sacrificed for the privileges we enjoy as Americans. I hope that as my niece (now seven years old), who was but a babe in arms on that fateful day, will grow up in a world where such a tragedy never happens again.

  4. Edoli Herrion

    I was here on campus, it was my freshman year. I was in between classes in my dorm room and the television just so happened to be on and I saw the explosions and begin to panic. We were in season (Volleyball) and were supposed to go to Tennessee for a Tournament the next day. Alot of sporting events were cancelled due to the scare of possible bombs going off in the major arenas and even more people getting hurt.
    Although our scheduled tournament resumed as planned, before we played we found a local church and prayed as a team to keep us as a whole safe. I didn’t know what else to do, but pray. This was the first time I was away from my parents and had to keep my composure as we were experiencing a major crisis.
    The national security really started to become important in my eyes, before I had never really knew the need for them but to help in times of hurricanes or other natural disasters. Now, more than ever, I know the reason for our armed forces.

  5. Deborah Y. Sommerville

    This is an opportunity to use the hidden curriculum concept to teach alligence in any AMERICA”S class. Today, I mourned with the nation as I placed flowers on my mom’s and dad’s graves. I hope it is true this America is a land of opportunites with liberty, justice, and freedom for all.

  6. Vanessa Pratcher

    When the September 11, 2001 tragedies transpired, I was at work, sitting at my desk when I received the call from my mother telling me what happened. She was very frantic because she was unable to get in touch with my sister who lives in New York and works near the World Trade Center. At that point, I immediately turned on the television and my co-worker and I began to watch the news. We sat in amazement, stunned that something like this was happening in the United States. Throughout the day, the news stations repeatedly showed the demolition of the World Trade Center and every time I saw the explosions, it tore away at my soul. I have many friends and family that live in New York and as I thought of them, I also couldn’t help but think of all the helpless people that became trapped in the buildings as the terrorist drove the airplanes into them. I have heard of massacres of this nature occurring in other countries but never would I have imagined that something like this could happen here in the United States. I couldn’t help but think about the children who would now be without parents as well as the parents who would now be without their children, as I contemplated on what the families of the deceased victims were feeling and I prayed to God to provide them with a spirit of understanding through their difficult time. I also reflected on how it could have been my sister, uncle, aunt or even a cousin that could have been affected or even killed by this tragedy. My pastor used the events as a teachable moment at our church as he spoke to us. He mentioned how things like this should show us why we shouldn’t take life for granted and he ended by praying for the world and asking for peace. It is now seven years later and the image of that horrible explosion is forever etched in my mind.

  7. Reyonna Mathis

    I remeber September 11, 2001. It was a tuesday and I was so happy that I got to sleep late because I didn’t have class untill noon (I was still in college). However my alarm didn’t know that I was too be sleeping in and sounded at it’s usual 8:00am time. As I continued to hit the snooze button, I could hear the music on the radio being interupted by a “special report”. As my favorite song was stopped I heard them announcing that an air plane has crashed into the world trade center. At first they reported that the crash was an accident. That was untill they heard about the second plane and then later about the third plane heading to the pentagone. I remeber being in a haze of sorts. I felt that I was having a nightmare. Who in the world would crash a plane into a building on purpose? After that it was total chaos on campus. I remeber the student

  8. Reyonna Mathis

    I remember the student’s that were in the military crying and aksing why. I remember having candelite vigils for the victim’s and their families. I recall gass sky rocketing to to over $5.00 a galon. I remember going home that following Christmas and having to through hades inorder to board the air craft.
    Although I was not able to turn it into a teachable moment It was a learning experience personally. I learned that tomorrow is Never Promissed and to take advantage of the present.

  9. On September 11,2001 I was a student at the University of West Alabama. I was on my way to class; and my mother called and told me to come home. I told her that I would come home right after class. When I entered the room the professor said that class was canceled for the day. I was not aware of the attack until my professor informed me; my mother did not tell me because she knew that I would be upset. I remember calling everyone and telling them that I loved them. It made me realize that tomorrow is not promised and that I should live each day as if it were my last. I watched television all day and night on that day. I watch the news now every morning before I go to work.

  10. Gwendolyn Jeffries

    On September 11, 2001 I was working at West Alabama Mental Health Center. At the time of the attack o the world trade center I was in the process of puttig work in my car to travel to another site in another county. When I saw it on the television I became very concern of what was happening and I can say I was afraid. When I got to the other county I called my family and told them to look at the television. They were already aware. I couldn’t hardly work that day for watching the breaking news and hearing of all the people losing thier lives. I can truly say when I got home from work, I watched CNN until I went to sleep. That caught my attention more than the Colunbine shooting. I felt I would never get over that.

  11. LaQuanda Peavy

    On September 11, 2001 I was a Junior in High School. We were taking a test that day and I was just sitting at my desk waitng for the other students to finish their test because after the test the teacher said she did not have anything else planned so we were going to have a free day. During the test an annoucement came ove the intercom system saying that teachers were allowed to turn on their televisions, no other informmation was given. My teacher did not turn the television on until she heard the class next door gasping and yelling. She went next door and ran back over to our class and immediately turned on the television on and the first thing we saw was airplane going through the second tower. I was floored and saddened by what I had just saw. This made me realize that everyday is not promised and like Angel I now watch the news every morning. On 9/11 this year when I woke up I said a prayer for the families who lost loved one that day and also for our country.

  12. Matt Matthews

    I was still in high school, “who woulda thunk it? :)” and I was watching the television in my coaches’ office during pe. I was a coaches aide and I normally spent my mornings getting the news down from the tv. The events that transpired changed my life forever, in my opinion. I sat there and witnessed history repeating itself right before my eyes – I knew that the nation would never be the same after that day, and seven years later – I believe I’m right. Most of my children have trouble relating to 911, considering most of their childhood memories have been while American troops are at war. Nevertheless, we talked about the adverse affect terrorism had, has, and continue to be – and how our nation bleeds each day because of those events that transpired.

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