By Stephanie Breglio
As many know, September 11, 2001 was a turning point for national security procedures in airports, government buildings, along with other locations of importance all around the world. There were 2,753 deaths, 343 including firefighter,s at the World Trade Center site that day. When students visited the actual site of these terrorist attacks they were stopped in their tracks by the sadness that still lingers in the air.
On October 23, 2019 students of Mr. Sand’s Current Issues classes visited the 9/11 Memorial/Museum in New York, along with the Tower Ladder 1 Firehouse. The field trip was an all-day expedition, where students were on the bus at 6:30 am and got home around 5:00 at night.
In Current Issues, Mr. Sand aims multiple lessons, assignments, and classwork around the tragedy of 9/11. By teaching about the events about this day in history, students are able to gain more of a perspective about it and the feelings of the victims are heroes. Although the lessons give students more of an insight, they are not quite enough. The field trip is what ties everything together.
Mr. Sand believes that the action of actually visiting the museum is … “important for young people, especially those who don’t remember that day, to gain a first hand experience to help them truly understand the events of 9/11.”
Since the students attending the trip were the first generation to barely experience the actual day of 9/11, it was important to visit the museum to learn more about the occurrences of this day. Mr. Sand teaches about the victims and heroes that were killed and the actual events leading up to the attack, however he makes a point to highlight the good that came out of this large event in history, which is showcased through meeting some of our heroes-the firefighters.
The day of the field trip started with visiting the Tower Ladder 1 Firehouse, where students were able to go inside the only firehouse in New York that did not lose any firefighters during the attack. Students also had the opportunity to see the firehouse in action when they got a call and had to leave. Some students even purchased shirts from the firehouse signed by the firefighters that day!
After taking a quick lunch break at McDonald’s, students and chaperones migrated to the World Trade Center site to view the fountains/pools of water where the towers stood, which included all the names engraved into the sides of the people who died. The next stop was the museum itself, which is located right next to one of the original tower sites.
The museum was a moving experience. It included the original phone calls and messages from family members and from people who died on that day. There were multiple exhibits, some including artifacts, and others including rooms with presentations on what really happened that day. A technologically advanced part of the museum was the iPads, which students were able to use to search any person that died that day and to find information on them.
A student present at the trip, senior Leah Ayers said, “One benefit is that you get to see all of the artifacts and relics in person rather than on a screen. It gives it a more realistic feel, and you can relate to the experiences better when you see it up close.”
The museum created a closer connection between the students and 9/11 through the exhibits. Students were able to relate more to the events that occurred, which was extraordinary because they weren’t even alive when it happened. After visiting the museum, students got back on the bus and took a moment to reflect on what they had seen before returning home around 5:00.
Mr. Sand said, “I think the trip is just the right length. Students are able to process only so much on any one day so I’m very comfortable with the time we have there.”
Students were appreciative that they got this wonderful opportunity to visit the firehouse and the museum. It was a real experience for all the students and chaperones that helped out. Students give a special thank you to WHS, Mr. Sand, the chaperones, and everyone who took steps to help organize the trip.
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