Grade 8 Students Visit 9/11 Memorial and Learn from the Past

The events of September 11, 2001 are forever etched in our memory but for young students, this day unfolded before they were even born. Despite that, many of them feel deeply connected to that day. Grade 8 student Will Burke visited the 9/11 Memorial with his class in early March. "Walking in that day, we were at the base of the Freedom Tower, the tallest building in America. Initially, we were free to explore the museum on our own and I went directly to the memorial exhibition, where I looked for my Dad's old friend Tom Galvin, who was one of the victims of the attack. On my way out of the memorial, I took another glance at the Freedom Tower and what it symbolized for our nation, that we can persevere through anything and that freedom and democracy will never be destroyed," said Will

The visit coincided with the Grade 8 history curriculum - United States and the World. Katie Tobin, Visual Arts Faculty, adds, "The 9/11 Museum and Memorial was created so that the events and the lives of those lost on September 11, 2001 are not forgotten. Many students made connections at the museum, including several who have a relative or close friend of the family that was affected by the tragic events back in 2001."

Grade 8 student Zoë Laureano-Rikardsen thought the trip was an amazing experience. The group heard from two speakers, Anthony Gardner and Ari Schonbrun. "Mr. Schonbrun (pictured above) gave us a firsthand account of his experience, from being stuck on floor 78 of the North Tower to running down the stairs with his coworker, who was badly burned. He spoke about the different coincidences and miracles that occurred and helped us to understand that although the worst things in life may happen to you, God always has a plan and there is always hope. That is what I took away from this experience - that there is always hope for a better future" said Zoë.

Ken Lewis, History Faculty, comments, "As we study history we discover it repeats itself, and from that we hope to learn from our past and avoid making the same mistakes in the present and future. The 9/11 Memorial reminds us of this. It helped the students understand that there are divisions in the world - whether political, religious or other - that impact our lives dramatically, sometimes painfully. From my observation, most students really absorbed the message and meaning of the Memorial, and hopefully will carry it with them as they grow into respectful and responsible adults."