HHS continues Sept. 11th Memorial traditionAs part of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, over 300 Hudson High School students in the ninth-grade Modern World History classes created a memorial to honor the victims. Prior to building the memorial, students were given the opportunity to learn and discuss the tragedy with their classes.
As part of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, over 300 Hudson High School students in the ninth-grade Modern World History classes created a memorial to honor the victims.
Prior to building the memorial, students were given the opportunity to learn and discuss the tragedy with their classes. First, students read a handout familiarizing them with the situation. Next, students watched a documentary recounting the day’s events. Most students noticed that they had little direct knowledge of the attacks as they were too young at that time.
Students then conducted oral interviews with others who had some prior memories as the day’s events unfolded. Many students chose to interview their parents, grandparents, older siblings and teachers.
The interviewees’ stories were compelling. Some interviewees had family members who lived/worked within blocks of the World Trade Center or the Pentagon. Others had spouses who were passengers on different airlines and could not be reached for hours. And one parent has a client whose brother lost his life in the World Trade Center attacks and the family today is still receiving identified objects that belonged to him.
Students then selected a single word that described his/her feelings about the tragedy and repeatedly wrote that word on a shoebox wrapped in white paper. Words selected this year included “tragic, catastrophe, surreal and unity”.
After looking at slides of various memorials around the United States, the students used their completed shoeboxes as “bricks” to collectively build a memorial. Each class hour reported to the memorial site in the HHS Commons and was given 15 minutes to design and construct a memorial out of the available shoeboxes at hand.
Throughout the day more and more shoeboxes were added as participating classes reported to the Commons, causing a change in both the design and the construction. Various ideas were considered and tried: towers, walkways, “heart” symbols, and a remembrance wall. The last class of the day decided to create a memorial representing the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
A variety of remembrance posters were created to display in the memorial area. An essay titled “Freedom Isn’t Free,” written in 1997 by LCDR Dan Shanower who later lost his life in the Pentagon attack, was posted behind the memorial along with the list of victims’ names. A red memorial flag completed the display.
The remaining days of the unit were spent looking at primary and secondary sources from that fateful event. Some students also looked at the world’s reaction to that day and how the tragedy affected victims from around the globe. Student-generated reflective writings, drawings, poems and discussions served as closure for the activities.
Participating in this year’s project were students in Sou Her, Theresa Jenness, Trent Tufte and Matt Friedl’s classes.