Loyola Academy Students Reflect on Personal Accounts of September 11

This year on September 11, the grade 7 and 8 students participated in a special activity in English Language Arts (ELA) class. Students began by reading and annotating stories from 18 people who were alive during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Some of those people were children who had been having a regular school day, others were adults who had to make difficult choices. Some were far removed from New York City, while others were much closer.

After circulating the classroom, annotating the enlarged stories and responding to their peers, students were asked to stand near the story that had the greatest impact on them. Each student then had the chance to summarize and present the story for the rest of the class. Finally, students learned the identities of the people behind each story: all 18 stories were written by faculty members at Saint Columbkille. Students were then asked to write a reflection on what they learned from this experience.

“I think 9/11 is important to talk about because it’s a very big part of America’s history. Also learning about people’s experiences, especially those we know, changes my perspective, and makes me realize that even those who didn’t lose anyone were deeply affected.” -Allie Cedrone, Grade 8

“I noticed that every single story was unique to the teachers’ personality. And they were all extremely different [because] they were all different ages. Some of the teachers were so young, they did not know how to handle something that big.” -Kyle Cummings, Grade 8

“Seeing the stories of different teacher’s experiences of [9/11] reminded me that even if you weren’t there to directly witness the event, it doesn’t mean that it did not still affect you. Reading these stories made the event feel a lot more real than it had before.” -Hannah Valiente-Verhulst, Grade 7