Tuesday, January 21, 2020
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Texas students put 9/11 in a hurricane context

What did you do in your school to remember more than 3,000 people, most of them Americans, who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001?

(school newspaper)

Mo Orr, the online team lead for the Lone Star Dispatch, the student newspaper at James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas, points out that about half the students at the high school will have been born after the attacks occurred. For those students, the attacks give being an American a frame of reference.

“I wouldn’t understand it as well as my parents and my brother would understand it,” the paper quotes one ninth grader as saying. “What everybody puts out, what people give, and what people do, everything in the media—it felt devastating.”

Psychology teacher Phil Perry puts that into perspective:

I was a senior in college, and I remember waking up and watching the news, hearing about the first one and watching the second. It just changed the whole perspective of how the US really interacted with the rest of the world. … It just brought home more what the rest of the world struggles with in terms of conflict based on religion or ideology that we hadn’t really experienced here in America before.

It’s just frightening, but it’s also one of those times you really felt like the country was hopefully coming together for a good purpose. We were coming together like we are now for Hurricane Harvey and with Hurricane Irma, banding together to show the strength of the American people.

I want to give [students] an opportunity to understand what it was that I felt—and to share how other people felt—so that we can get an idea of why we still reflect on this day as such an important day.

The school conducted listening sessions yesterday and today in order to allow students to share their 9/11 thoughts in a safe and open environment.

In related news, Bowie’s renowned marching band will perform on September 23 at the Bands of America regional festival at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Round Rock, Texas, celebrating the second weekend of competitive marching band for this national organization that is itself celebrating its 42nd year of positive, life-changing experiences for students through music.

How did your school mark the 16th anniversary of 9/11?

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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