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Teaching a Tragedy

As many of us are remembering the tragic events of 9/11, where we were and the images on TV, some people are watching that day unfold for the very first time.

Juan Marable Junior closes his eyes and at times, looks away.

Alana Morales keeps her hand on her forehead, stunned.

Another student never looks away.

Those are the reactions from this seventh grade class at JT Lambert Intermediate School in East Stroudsburg, as they watch a documentary about the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

“I think when the planes hit the building was really shocking and it impacted me a lot. I understand more of what happened that day now,” said Alyssa Murray, a seventh grader.

And that’s exactly what social studies teacher, Robert LaBar, hopes as he teaches his class about the tragedy. Most of these students were born in 2001, the year the 9-11 terrorist attacks happened.

“These events impact their lives even though they weren’t alive when it happened. They are feeling the consequences of it,” said Robert LaBar, the social studies teacher.

Some of these seventh graders do have an idea of what happened.

Many students in the class have ties to New York City. Their parents commute there to work or their relatives still live there.

One student has a family member who made it out of the World Trade Center that day.

“My aunt was in one of them, she was in the North Tower. So seeing that, crashing, was traumatizing,” said Alana Morales, a seventh grader.

“My grandmother was always telling me about how she lived through it. She was trying to get across the bridge to help. She was a nurse at the time and she still is a registered nurse,” said Kyle Anderson, a seventh grader.

For the people who were glued to the news on September 11, 2001, we’ve all seen those images. But for some students in Mr. LaBar’s class, this is the first time that they’re watching September 11 unfold.

“I didn’t know it was this bad,” said Juan Marable Junior, a seventh grader.

“I thought they went straight through and hit the other tower. I didn’t know there were two planes. I thought there was only one,” said Anderson.

“I just think it’s important to teach this lesson,” said LaBar.

And to never forget.


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