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  • Nicholas J. Martino

World in Perspective: September 11, 2001

I was attending high school in Long Beach, New York on September 11, 2001. The day started normally, but the classroom televisions slowly began to grumble alive and showcase live events. Only a few teachers had it playing, and many were unaware of events occurring beyond their lesson plan.

Our cafeteria was and still is, an open window with a view of the New York city skyline. As smoke began to pour from Tower 1, the day went from normal to chaotic pretty quickly. Long Beach is a hub for the Long Island RailRoad, and many of my friend's parents were working in lower Manhattan. It was a traumatic day for everyone and still is for many. Through teaching, I can honor those that lost their lives that day and try to make the world a better place.

In my class each year I share this ESPN mini-documentary, The Man in the Red Bandana, about Welles Crowther. True heroism is hard to come-by and hardly documented like this. I try to train and encourage my students to be heroes of their domains. Huge shoutout to all of our heroes out there.

Watch independently or with a small group: (prepare tissues)

The Man in the Red Bandana

Make no mistake about it the events of September 11th changed the world. For many in other parts of the world the attack means something else entirely. Seeking contrasting perspectives and greater context through digital research is a crucial 21st Century skill.

Aristotle once said:

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Read the Introduction to Understanding Arabs (Nydell) or conduct digital research of your own.

Discussion: Perspectives on September 11, 2001

The class usually ends with a lengthy circle discussion where everyone shares their understandings of the event and its impact on individuals, governments and the Earth.

Students, if you remember this lesson comment below on the experience.

Thanks for reading.

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