Sharing September 11th with Students
Today’s middle and high school students are too young to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001; but thanks to the many educational opportunities in Lower Manhattan, students can better grasp what that day means for our nation. For our performance tours that are NYC-bound, we suggest that students experience some of the 9/11-focused opportunities in the area. Here are the tours and experiences we recommend:
The visual focal point of Ground Zero, the 9/11 Memorial consists of two waterfalls and accompanying reflecting pools – each representing one of the fallen Twin Towers. The pools are situated on the original footprints of the two World Trade Center Towers and each measure nearly an acre, a striking absence of space in the otherwise busy landscape of Lower Manhattan. Bronze panels border the edges of the pools, inscribed with the names of the 2,977 people who died in both the 2001 and 1993 World Trade Center attacks. For students who only understand 9/11 through either history books of their families’ stories, exploring the Memorial and understanding the gravity of that day is unforgettable.
9/11 Memorial Museum
Situated 70 feet below ground, the 9/11 Memorial Museum represents the collapse of the Twin Towers, as it’s located “within and surrounded by remnants of the original World Trade Center site.” The exhibition within the Museum tells the story of that day in three parts – the day before 9/11, the day of the attack and the day after. As students often have a limited understanding of the events that led up to and followed this tragic day, the exhibition gives a much clearer explanation of that timeline. Students can explore artifacts, photographs, video and other media throughout the museum.
St. Paul’s Chapel
Just beyond the 9/11 Memorial area lies St. Paul’s Chapel, the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan. The church is a historic landmark in it’s own right, but has a deep connection to September 11thas well, now nicknamed “The Little Chapel that Stood.” St. Paul’s faces the east side of the World Trade Center site but miraculously survived the attacks with no damage – not even a broken window. The church is a popular highlight for students, given both the historical significance of the building and its 9/11 exhibit and audio video history of the event.
Exploring September 11thas a historical event is a meaningful opportunity for students who didn’t experience that day firsthand. Entering these sacred spaces also teaches them how to respectfully experience the world around them – with reverence and appreciation. To learn more about educational opportunities surrounding 9/11 in both New York and Washington, D.C., contact us and we’ll share our favorite experiences for students.
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