This past summer I was fortunate to visit the 9/11 Memorial sites in Washington, DC and Pennsylvania. They were both incredibly emotional visits that are covered in previous posts. But recently, a MUHS alum and Army veteran spoke at school how the 9/11 attacks propelled him to enlist and serve two tours in Iraq. But it was not so much the actual attacks that prompted him to enlist but rather the feelings of unity the world shared on 9/12. To him, those days in the aftermath of this tragedy were special and showed the strength of the human spirit. Here at home, people smiled a little more, took time to talk to one another in the check out lines. Globally, while Ground Zero smoldered, it seemed every evening there was an amazing moment of support coming from a new corner of the globe. Maybe it is the unity we felt after the attacks that should share more of the memory with the fallen heroes; not the face shots of the terrorists or re-playing of the planes crashing into our buildings.
It only took a moment for me to recall an example of that “spirit” after the attacks. One lasting memory for me that brought me to tears was during the World Series that October when President Bush threw out the opening pitch at Yankee Stadium (see vid below). It was something about the president out there on the mound in New York, a month after the attacks (and he nailed the pitch!) that was awesome. It was almost like something out of a movie… for an evening things were how they should be.
What do you remember that captured the spirit of unity after the attacks?
- I have included links to six excellent sites dedicated to the memory those lost on 9/11. I tried to find links that relate to the human experiences and spirit that prevailed that day. Most of these I have used in my classes and will either assign as homework or watch along with my students tomorrow.
1) 102 Minutes That Changed America. An Interactive Map of Manhattan during the attacks: This link on HIstory Channel’s website lets you watch and hear New Yorker’s response to the attacks from all angles of the city. The NYU Dorm reactions are chilling.
2) Flight 93 National Memorial: This link has extraordinary videos that explain the crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania from many perspectives. One is from workers in the U.S. Capital which is where Flight 93 was headed and also from the first reporter on the scene. They are each about an hour in length but worth it.
3) “Congress Sings on Capital Steps.” Realizing that perhaps Flight 93 was aimed at them, members of Congress set aside their partisanship and gathered together on the steps to sing “God Bless America.”
4) “He’s the Reason I’m Here.” A 2 minute oral history of a woman who was in a Twin Tower and whose boss saved her life.
5) “9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most.” Haunting photographs of the Twin Towers.
6) “National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.” A photographic tribute to all those who lost their lives in Flight 77 and the Pentagon.