For Americans, 9/11 lives as an infamous day in our memories, when our country and the world changed in a matter of hours.
But, think about this – schools are now filled with students who never knew what life was like before the terror attacks and the aftermath that followed.
For them, 9/11 is a history lesson, much like Pearl Harbor, except there’s no set curriculum.
One New Jersey school is tracking to teach the delicate subject.
Max Pedarino is a high school senior. On 9/11 he was one month old.
“I’ve known about it my whole life,” said Max.
He’s known about it, but he and his friends are too young to have any first hand memory of the attacks, which explains the field trip.
“The room that resonated with me the most was the one with all the faces,” Max said.
He and his classmates went to the 9/11 museum, a plan pioneered by social studies supervisor Lisa Torres.
“For me, the most powerful room is the firefighter room. You hear the beeping. You hear that beeping and you realize people attached to locators no longer here,” said Torres.
She worked with 9/11 family members to develop a curriculum, a way to teach high schoolers as the anniversaries grow.
“There was one comment i thought moving and important for students to hear, although we were not alive on the day of the attack, it’s very important to be aware of the seriousness and sadness this day brought.”
“You’re teaching 9/11 like any other event. It’s becoming a kind of World War II or Vietnam War. However the teachers themselves, most of them have an experience, a personal connection to the event.”
“Kids think they’re invincible, and nothing wrong ever happens to them. Tragedies are tragedies – and when they occur they hit everybody,” said Lorraine Brooks, the school’s principal.
The magnitude still sinking in. to a generation that hadn’t yet been born when the towers fell.
And the impact of the lesson plan took on deeper meaning for students at this New Jersey school. Three former students here lost their lives in the attacks.