‘Why would somebody do this?’: Students born after 9/11 get unique perspective


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – September 11, 2001 is one of the darkest days in American history.

Eighteen years later, people across the country paused to remember the thousands of lives lost in the terrorist attacks.

But not everyone remembers that fateful day. Students at Robinson Middle School were not yet born.

It may not be in the curriculum to talk about September 11th, but social studies teacher Michele Rowley says it’s important to inform a new generation about a day that should never be forgotten.

“This was a national tragedy,” she told her seventh grader class Wednesday afternoon.

“September 11th was when the terrorists attacked the Twin Towers,” said 12-year-old Sydni Hoover, when asked about her knowledge of the devastating day years ago.

She and her classmates were able to have an open discussion on the topic.

“Do you think there is going to be any more terrorist acts in the next 20 years?” asked student Ben Dunkelberger asked Rowley.

Seventh graders who were born after 9/11 rely on videos and discussions like this to understand what happened the day America came under attack.

“I was not alive but my parents were,” said Dunkelberger. “And, what I know is it was a really tragic event and there four planes in total, two crashed into the World Trade Center.”

“Two years ago in fifth grade, I realized what a big impact it had on society,” said Hoover.

Rowley was teaching a fifth grade class 18 years ago when the terrorist attacks happened.

This time she had more answers for her students.

“They asked a lot of questions about why would somebody do this? Who does these things,” said Rowley.

That included questions about the war on terror and stereotypes.

“I think that history repeats itself,” said Dunkelberger. “But, if we can change things we can always stop that from happening again.”

“We can try and stop it and take power and take charge and just be united as a world,” said Hoover.

Aside from talking about 9/11, Rowley had her students interview someone who was alive when the attacks happened, so they could get a firsthand perspective.


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