Website turns negative into positive

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. I still remember exactly where I was when I learned about the attacks. I still remember how I felt -- fearful and sad. Although I couldn't watch the initial images on television, I had the opportunity to listen to reporters' accounts of the scene by radio. Those vivid descriptions were enough. Later, when I watched the second tower tumble down live on TV, I remember crying. Writing this, I am still saddened by what happened 11 years ago.

Over the last 11 years, millions of parents and educators across the country have been forced to try to explain the events of that traumatic day to children who were either not alive or too young to understand on Sept. 11, 2001. In the coming years, I too will need to find the words to tell my daughter about this event. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum website, which is located at www.911memorial.org, offers some valuable resources for helping children learn about and understand what happened on that horrific day. The website also transforms the horrors of the event into teachable lessons designed to help children learn safety and other lessons.

One lesson, titled "In Case of An Emergency," shows kids the importance of being prepared for emergencies. The lesson also explains why children participate in fire drills and learn evacuation plans. The lesson "What Is a Hero?" helps children expand their knowledge about the qualities of heroes, how emergency workers help keep people safe and the importance of showing gratitude to heroes. These lessons target young students, but the website offers lesson plans for all ages.

Even though Sept. 11, 2001, was a terrible day. It is nice to see that those closest to the traumatic event are reaching out to help educate others in a positive way. The National September 11 Memorial Museum website is a valuable resource for both parents and educators. I plan to use the information offered on the website to teach my daughter about emergency preparation, the importance of everyday heroes and the resilience of the American people.

Lindsay Reed