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School Blog

Monday, September 11, 2023

Remembering the Lessons of 9/11

Remembering the Lessons of 9/11

September 11, 2001. Simply reading that date brings up a vast array of emotions for many of us. To borrow the poignant words from President FDR, it truly is “a date that shall live in infamy.”

Many of the faculty here at South Hills Academy remember where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt as we watched the events unfold on television screens. I was a high school student who was mentally preparing myself for the first of three days of state testing when my mom came to find me downstairs and told me what was happening.

Arriving at school, I remember crowding into my history teacher’s classroom with 45 other students because her television had the best reception on campus, and we were all sitting there in shock. I remember people holding on to each other, crying, praying, and all of us asking why was this happening? . . . .

In the 22 years since that fateful day, the enduring power of the September 11th attacks is clear: an overwhelming number of Americans who are old enough to recall the day remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. But there is also an ever-growing number of Americans have no personal memory of that day, either because they were too young or had not yet born. As I stated previously, I was in high school when 9/11 happened. I now teach high school, and my students read about this day in their textbooks. When students ask me what I remember about that day, I tell them about being in that crowded history classroom and I’m honest about the fear and sadness that we all felt. But I also tell them another memory. I share with them what America was like in the days that followed. I can’t remember a time when the country was more unified, which currently seems even more unfathomable. But in the days after the attack, the United States came together in a sense of brotherhood that was truly breathtaking. Political party affiliation, race, class, and even religious denominational differences were set aside as we all came together to build each other up and care for our fellow man. As President Joe Biden said on the 20 the anniversary back in 2021: “To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11 — that at our most vulnerable, with the push-and-pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of America, unity is our greatest strength.” – President Joe Biden

At SHA, we remain dedicated to instilling that sense of unity and brotherhood in our students. We pray that by reminding our children about when we focus on what we have in common rather than obsessing over our differences, then we can truly live out God’s commandment: “And above all else, put on LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14).

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