September 7, 2011


September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

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On September 11, 2001, I was on strict bed rest while pregnant with my first child. My husband was getting ready for work while I dozed in bed. The phone rang and the Caller ID said it was my Mother-in-Law so I picked up. “Turn on the t.v. right now!” she exclaimed. I did, and saw the replay of the plane hitting the first tower. We both discussed how it must be a terrible accident and how awful it was; while we were talking we both watched in horror as the 2nd plane hit. At that moment we both knew that it was no accident. I sat glued to the t.v. that day (I couldn’t even go for a walk to clear my mind - doctor’s orders) and became increasingly more concerned that I was bringing a child into this world. My husband shared these same concerns, and for the next few weeks we experienced a roller coaster of emotions. From fear, to depression, to anger, and everything in between. On October 3, 2011, just 22 days after the tragedy, our beautiful, perfect little boy was born. It was he who saved us from our fears and concerns; he who took our minds off of the evil. All we knew was love for this new member of our little family, and it was that love that got us through that terrible time. My “little” boy is turning 10 soon, and is the joy of our lives (along with his little sister :)). He is an “old soul” who is impossibly bright and makes us think each and every day. How could we possibly have thought about not bringing a child into this world? Love conquers all, and our little guy definitely proves this fact.

So, while I am still trying to grasp the fact that my son is almost 10, we must also grasp the fact that this Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of that fateful day. The best way we can do this is to teach our students and children. Here are some excellent resources to help you instruct children about the significance of September 11:

Books Related to September 11

The horror! The humanity! The heroes! Read these true, heartstopping tales about unimaginable devastation wrought by nature and humans, and the amazing spirit of the people who united in recovery in the aftermath of nuclear explosions, worldwide diseases, earthquakes and hurricanes, and terrorist attacks.

On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I SURVIVED series.

The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad’s best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas’s parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan.

So the next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It’s a bright, beautiful day in New York. But just as Lucas arrives at his uncle’s firehouse, everything changes — and nothing will ever be the same again.

Gus Moskowitz knows that sixth graders are too old to curl up under a quilt, but that’s the only place he can hide from the school bully, his nagging older sister, and, worst of all, his father’s death. It’s been two years since Gus’s father was killed in the World Trade Center, and Gus can’t figure out how to move on. His mother thinks he needs to do something - anything - so she rents him an oboe and signs him up for lessons with her boss’s elderly father, Mr. M. As Gus’s friendship with Mr. M. develops, so does his passion for classical music, and soon he decides to compose a song of his own, a tribute to his father. But even if Gus can find a way to wrap up his father’s life in a single song, will he ever find the courage to play it? In turns playful and poignant, Playing Dad’s Song personalizes the losses at the World Trade Center in New York City by focusing on one child’s struggle with the tragedy.

The award-winning Wilborn Hampton recounts one horrifying day in history through the eyes of several who experienced it firsthand.

A blind man and his dog struggling to escape from the burning North Tower, a company of firefighters risking their lives to help with the evacuation, an ordinary citizen turned rescue worker sifting through debris after the towers collapsed - each of these individuals endured a personal nightmare, and each carries a separate memory.

In SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: ATTACK ON NEW YORK CITY, Wilborn Hampton captures an unprecedented piece of history through interviews and accounts of survivors, heroes, and terrorists. In addition, the seasoned reporter tells his own story, thus bringing to readers the grieving, compassionate voice of a fellow New Yorker who was close to Ground Zero. Amplifying the narrative are fifty-four black-and-white photographs, indelible images of horror and heroism unfolding. The panorama of views Wilborn Hampton presents, following several individuals through September 11 and its aftermath, creates an intimate portrait of life and loss, and a deeper understanding of the events of that tragic day.

With photographs and architectural plans never before published, paired with comments in the very voices of those who witnessed the event, this book will stand apart from all the rest on the 10th anniversary of that world-changing event.

In this expanded tenth-anniversary edition of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling book, LIFE returns to the story that it chronicled with such immediacy following the devastating, heartbreaking, and inspiring events in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. These pages bear witness to the horrific losses of 9/11 but also celebrate the inspirational bravery of those who persevered, risking their lives in unpredictable and terrifying circumstances. This became the document of the day, the book Americans needed at the time-and can gain some measure of understanding from once more. ONE NATION was and is, as the Wall Street Journal said ten years ago, “a thoughtful and thorough telling.” This expanded edition includes a new foreword by Tom Brokaw, reflections on how the nation has changed in the decade since 9/11, updates on the people involved that day, and new and exclusive portraits by award-winning photographer Joe McNally, who made indelible pictures at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of the tragic event.

Lesson Plans and Teaching Resources

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  1. Mandi

    I’m so glad that your baby brought your family such joy during a very hard time. I love the resources you listed.

    • mct224

      Thank you so much! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Janice Hidey

    I love reading people’s stories from that day. All different yet similar themes: devastation, bonding and hope for the future.

    Great books. I used to teach elementary and now high school.


    • mct224

      Yes, it is sad that it often takes tragedy to bring us closer. Thankfully, there is always hope, and that is what makes us push forward.

  3. The Family that Laughs Together

    children do that for us, they make us feel whole and complete. I agree with you. So we will still bring children into this world, enjoy our days, and be happy- despite that our world has forever changed.

    • mct224

      Absolutely! My hope is that this new generation will learn from the past and change the world once again, this time for the better.

  4. Stacie

    Thank you for sharing, both your experience, and the list of books and lesson plans. I’m glad your son was able to help you feel better, and Happy almost Birthday!

    • mct224

      Thank you so much! Have a great evening!


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