September 11, 2015 In Remembrance of the 14th Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Department of Social Sciences
THE SCHOOL BOARD OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA Ms. Perla Tabares Hantman, Chair Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman, Vice-Chair Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall Ms. Susie V. Castillo Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway Dr. Martin Karp Ms. Lubby Navarro Dr. Marta Pérez Ms. Raquel A. Regalado
An Instructional Note to Teachers about Patriot Day In the United States, each September 11th is designated as Patriot Day in memory of those who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the tragic events which changed all our lives in both subtle and dramatic ways.
To assist schools, staff in the Department of Social Sciences has developed this instructional resource guide which includes:
BACKGROUND INFORMATION -This section includes background and reference information on Patriot Day, including detailed information on the terrorist attacks. Additional information is included about the 9/11 Day of Service and the National 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City. Suggestions for teachers and parents on how to best discuss 9/11 with younger children is also provided.
LESSON PLANS - This section includes both an elementary and secondary lesson plan which may be utilized on September 11th to commemorate Patriot Day.
INTERNET RESOURCES - Additional related lesson plans, teacher background information, interactive activities and downloadable worksheets may be found on the websites listed in this section of the guide.
ELEMENTARY CHARACTER EDUCATION RESOURCES – Additional lesson ideas are included to support the core value of “respect,” which has been designated for the month of September.
The History of Patriot Day
National Day of Service and Remembrance, September 11, 2015
The National 9/11 Memorial Museum
Talking to Younger Children About 9/11 – Advice for Teachers and Parents from the National 9/11 Memorial Museum
Bringing 9/11 Into the Classroom 14 Years Later -Suggestions from Teaching Tolerance
Background Information on the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
The History of Patriot Day, September 11th In the United States, each September 11th is designated as Patriot Day in memory of those who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the tragic events which changed all our lives in both subtle and dramatic ways.
On Patriot Day, the President directs that the flag of the United States be flown at half mast in American homes, at the White House, and on all United States government buildings and establishments, home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m., marking the time of the first plane crash on September 11, 2001. A presidential proclamation is also issued each year in honor of Patriot Day. In his 2014 Patriot Day proclamation, President Barack Obama stated: “America will never forget the September tragedy that shook our Nation's core 13 years ago. On a day that began like so many others, a clear blue sky was pierced by billowing black smoke as a wave of grief crashed over us. But in one of our darkest moments, we summoned strength and courage, and out of horrible devastation emerged the best of our humanity. On this solemn anniversary, we pause in remembrance, in reflection, and once again in unity.
On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 men, women, and children -- friends and neighbors, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters -- were taken from us with a heartbreaking swiftness and cruelty. As we come together once more to mourn their loss, we also recall how the worst terrorist attack in our history brought out the true character of the American people. Courageous firefighters rushed into an inferno, brave rescue workers charged up stairs, and coworkers carried others to safety. Americans in distant cities and local towns united in common purpose, demonstrating the spirit of our Nation; people drove across the country to volunteer, donors lined up to give blood, and organizations collected food and clothing. And in our Nation's hour of need, millions of young Americans raised in a time of peace volunteered to don the uniforms of our country's military and defend our values around
As we remember all those we lost on that day and the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars that followed, we must strive to carry forward their legacy. On this National Day of Service and Remembrance, we take up their unfinished work and pay tribute to their lives with service and charity. Through these acts and quiet gestures, we can honor their memory and reclaim our sense of togetherness.
I encourage all Americans to visit www.Serve.gov orwww.Servir.gov to learn more about service opportunities across our country.
In the face of great terror, some turned to God and many found comfort in family and friends -- but all Americans came together as one people united not only in our grief, but also in our determination to stand with one another and support the country we love. Today and all days, we remember the patriots who endure in the hearts of our Nation and their families who have known the awful depths of loss. In their spirit, let us resolve to move forward together and rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our Union as we work to strengthen our communities and better our world.
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day," and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized "National Day of Service and Remembrance."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2014, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I invite the Governors of the United States and its Territories and interested organizations and individuals to join in this observance. I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
While fourteen years have passed since the terrible events of September 11, 2001, all Americans, including the students in our schools, continue to struggle to understand what happened on that fateful day and why. Students must continue to examine the lessons of September 11th and how the attacks affected our nation’s security and place in the world. It is strongly suggested that schools develop a short commemorative program which incorporates a moment of silence in the memory of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
National Day of Service and Remembrance - September 11, 2015 September 11 was officially established as a National Day of Service and Remembrance by Federal Law in 2009. The day provides a way for all Americans to honor not only those who lost their lives in this tragedy, but also to honor those who came together under a spirit of unity to help and serve in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001.
On the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Americans will unite in service in the same remarkable way that so many came together following the attacks.
As in years past, we anticipate service and remembrance activities in all 50 states, at which there will be opportunities for hundreds of thousands of volunteers to paint and refurbish homes, run food drives, spruce up schools, reclaim neighborhoods, and support and honor veterans, soldiers, military families, and first responders. To find opportunities to serve during this year’s September 11th Day of Service, see the links below.
This year, Patriot Day falls on a school day. All schools, teachers, and students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools are encouraged to support the National Day of Service and Remembrance by participating in service activities during the following weekend. Senior high schools may opt to provide community service credit for participating students.
Links: Site for the National Day of Service and Remembrance –
http://www.serve.gov/?q=site-page/september-11th-national-day-service-and-remembrance Toolkits for Organizing Service Activities - http://www.serve.gov/?q=site-page/toolkits The National 9/11 Memorial Museum http://www.911memorial.org/museum
In Memoriam: Memorial Exhibition About the Museum The National September 11 Memorial Museum serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring the continuing significance of September 11, 2001.
The Museum’s 110,000 square feet of exhibition space is located within the archaeological heart of the World Trade Center site - telling the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts. The lives of every victim of the 2001 and 1993 attacks are commemorated as visitors have the opportunity to learn about the men, women, and children who died.
The monumental artifacts of the Museum provide a link to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning, and recovery that are central to telling the story of the attacks and the aftermath.
The Museum was dedicated on May 15, 2014 and opened to the public on May 21, 2014.
The Museum’s Mission The mission of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, located at the World Trade Center site, is to bear solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Museum honors the nearly 3,000 victims of these attacks and all those who risked their lives to save others. It further recognizes the thousands who survived and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath. Demonstrating the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and its impact on communities at the local, national, and international levels, the Museum attests to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity and affirms an unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life.
Question and Answers with Museum Director Alice Greenwald Why is this museum called a “Memorial Museum”?
Memorial museums are museums where educational exhibitions and public programs
take place within the context of a memorial environment, typically commemorating
events of tragic and global or national significance. The 9/11 Memorial Museum tells the individual stories of the 2,977 people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the
World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93, as well as the six people who
perished in the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In our historical
exhibition, we present the story of those attacks and particularly, the events as they
unfolded on and after 9/11.
The Museum conveys that those events are part of an ongoing story, one that began
long before September 11, 2001, and continues to shape our world today. As a place of
memory and learning, situated within the archaeological heart of the World Trade
Center, the Museum aspires to educate the millions expected to visit the site each year,
in hopes of building a better future and demonstrating the transformational potential of
What has informed the planning process for the Museum?
Years of planning and input have helped to inform the design of the Museum. In 2004,
the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation - which sponsored the international
9/11 Memorial design competition that chose Michael Arad and Peter Walker’s
“Reflecting Absence” design - convened key stakeholders to help provide direction for
an eventual museum. Their recommendations gave foundational guidance to 9/11
Memorial Museum planners.
Beginning in 2006, a Museum Planning Conversation Series has brought together
representatives of different constituent groups - family members of victims, first
responder agencies, lower Manhattan residents, survivors, landmark preservationists,
and government officials - several times each year to offer their recommendations for,
and responses to, the evolving Museum plans. Scholars and cultural advisors have
been consulted regularly, and the Museum’s exhibitions and planned visitor experience
have been developed by a team of curators, historians, educators, professional media
developers, and exhibit designers. The Program Committee of the 9/11 Memorial’s
Board of Directors, which includes a number of 9/11 family members, has provided
ongoing, critical oversight of the design and content of the Museum.
What history is covered in the Museum?
The Museum tells the story of 9/11, chronicling the events of the day, exploring the
historical context leading up to them (including the February 26, 1993 bombing of the
World Trade Center), and examining the aftermath, beginning in the days and weeks
immediately following the attacks. The Museum also considers a range of questions
and issues arising from the 9/11 attacks that continue to define the world in which we
live. In addition, in an area adjacent to visible remnants of original structural columns
from the Twin Towers, an exhibition covers the history of the construction of the
original World Trade Center.
Why is the primary exhibition space located below ground?
Because of the events that happened on 9/11, elements of what remained at the World
Trade Center site achieved landmark status and became subject to federal
preservation law. The 9/11 Memorial is, in fact, legally required to preserve the
authentic remnants of the original World Trade Center in the area known as bedrock,
and to provide meaningful public access to them.
These historic assets include what remains of the foundation slabs of the Twin Towers,
the remnants of the exterior structure of the towers known as “box columns,” and the
retaining wall originally built to keep the Hudson River from flooding the World Trade
Center site when it was first excavated, known as the “slurry wall.”
On 9/11, despite the devastation of the attacks and the collapse of two 110-story
buildings, the slurry wall - while challenged - held firm. Had it breached, lower
Manhattan and the subway lines that run through it might have been flooded,
and the destruction could have been even more unimaginable. In the original
master plan for the new World Trade Center, architect Daniel Libeskind felt that
the slurry wall, in its ability to withstand the forces of destruction, itself had
become a symbol of the strength and endurance of our country and its
Because of the obligation to make these archaeological elements meaningfully
accessible to the public, the Museum had to be placed where they could be
seen - at the bedrock level of the site, seven stories below ground. The authenticity of
this location becomes one of the characteristics of the 9/11 Memorial Museum that will
make it uniquely powerful. Where most museums are buildings that house artifacts, the
9/11 Memorial Museum will be a museum quite literally housed within an artifact.
What types of artifacts are included in the exhibitions?
The Museum displays artifacts of intimate to monumental scale - from a wide range
of personal items donated by victims’ families in memory of their loved ones to multiple
objects salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.
Among the larger artifacts presented are the two forked steel beams known as
“tridents,” already visible through the Museum Pavilion’s glass atrium. Standing over
seven stories tall, these columns were once part of the original façade of the Twin
Towers. Now, they signify the power of the historical artifacts within the Museum.
In addition to the tridents, there are two FDNY fire trucks, an ambulance,structural
steel from the point of impact where Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower, and the
36--foot high Last Column, the last piece of structural steel to be removed from the
site at the end of the recovery effort in May 2002. The column is covered with
mementos, memorial inscriptions, and missing posters affixed by ironworkers, rescue
personnel, and others. During the ceremony that marked the end of the recovery
period, the Last Column was laid on a flatbed truck, draped with an American flag and
escorted from the site by honor guard. In the Museum’s Foundation Hall, it stands tall
again, exemplifying the foundations of resilience, hope, and community with which we
will build our collective future.
Source: The National September 11 Memorial Museum, http://www.911memorial.org/museum For a virtual tour of the Museum, visit http://www.wired.com/2014/05/watch-a-tour-inside-the-new-911-museum/ The tour is on the Wired website. Talking to Younger Children About 9/11 – Advice for Teachers and Parents
from the National 9/11 Memorial Museum Every year, the attacks of 9/11 recede further into the past. However, for those of us who lost someone close or otherwise experienced that day - whether in person or on television - thinking and talking about 9/11 may still evoke strong emotions that transport us back to the tragedy and can jar emotions long forgotten. Current events can do the same. Many others will have little or no recollection of the event itself, understanding its details and ramifications through the lens of a somewhat impersonal history and through media coverage of the event.
Between managing these difficult emotions and conveying the details of such a tragic event, discussing 9/11 isn’t an easy task. We often hear, “I want to tell my child what happened that day but don’t know where to begin.” The following tips, then, have been prepared to provide broad guidelines to help you in these conversations.
Information about the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath can be found on our website: 911memorial.org. For more in-depth resources for talking to your children, visit the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at www.schoolcrisiscenter.org or the National Association for School Psychologists at www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety.
Listen. Some children will want to talk about the attacks and some won’t. Both reactions are common. If they do want to talk, it’s important to offer children a safe space to share their memories, beliefs, and questions. Actively listen to their thoughts, attend to their body language, validate their emotions, and encourage respectful conversation and discussions. If they don’t feel like talking, don’t force the discussions. Continue to check in and let them know you are ready to listen whenever they’re ready to talk.
Don’t avoid difficult conversations. Parents and caregivers understandably don’t want to cause anxiety and distress in their children. This often results in shying away from difficult conversations that we presume will provoke these emotions. It is the attacks themselves, though, that are upsetting, not the conversations about them. Invite the conversation with open-ended questions such as: “What would you like to know about 9/11?” or “Why do you think we are remembering the anniversary of 9/11?” Let the child’s interests and thoughts guide the conversation. Use age-appropriate language and be aware of your tone, reassuring children about their own safety and allowing them to express concerns about 9/11 and its aftermath in more depth.
Answer questions about the attacks with facts. As the years have passed since 9/11, our collective memory has slowly hardened into history. This passage of time means that your children might have no direct memory of the attacks of 9/11. Their understanding comes from the myriad sources around them - their families, schools, friends, and media - and as is often the case with so many voices, these sources can sometimes contradict each other. It is important, then, to answer children’s questions about what happened with basic facts and point them to reliable sources of information for further research. Be prepared for your child to ask questions about death when discussing 9/11, and to answer these questions in a way that is honest and developmentally-appropriate. To access the New York Life Foundation’s useful tools for dealing with grief, visit: www.achildingrief.com.
Acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers. It’s all right not to know the answer to every question. 9/11 is an incredibly complex subject, with repercussions that are still evolving today. If you can’t answer your child’s question, be honest. Use the opportunity to model yourself as a learner, and explore the question together.