NORWALK, Conn. The students in Patrick OShaughnessys AP Government class were just 6 and 7 years old when 9/11 occurred. Even so, they all remember exactly what they were doing on that day.
You are probably the youngest students who actually remember 9/11, said OShaughnessy, a popular Norwalk High School social studies teacher who led his class in a 9/11 remembrance Friday morning.
The students remember being in school, some in class, some at recess, on that September morning. When asked what they recall about the day, the students called out: The teachers were all whispering and were talking to each other. I had no idea what was going on, there were announcements, students were being pulled out of school. I remember watching the same thing over and over on TV and not being able to watch my shows.
My parents were both crying, recalled student Farrah Marin. My aunts both worked near there.
The kids remember the event mainly through adult reaction, said OShaughnessy.
Over the years, the students understanding of 9/11 has become clearer. Many of them said they became educated about the event by television programs. I learned a lot from the TV show Rescueman. And I watch the 9/11 specials during the anniversaries, said student Nick Lampman.
When I was little, I didnt think it was as big a deal, said Marin, who has watched History Channel shows about 9/11. Now I think it is the worst thing that ever happened in my life.
OShaughnessy screened a slideshow for his students called September 11, 2001, Never Forget, a collection of iconic images of the Twin Towers falling, people jumping from the towers, rescuers and onlookers.
Brian Manby had never seen pictures of people jumping to their death before that class. The images show how awful it really was," he said after watching the slideshow. "They could either die by a plane colliding into them or falling to their death.
Manby said that feels apprehensive in crowded public places. Im on the lookout in planes and subways.
I think 9/11 has made people a lot less trusting, said classmate Aly Palermo.
Marin says the world post-9/11 hasnt changed life for her the way it has for her parents. For them a lot changed, not so much for us.
How do you explain 9/11 to your children?
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