Teaching the next generation about 9/11

8th grade students at Riverside Middle School. (Sept. 10, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The terrorist attacks on 9/11 is a day that will forever be etched in the minds of many. But that is changing with the next generation.

Nearly a quarter of all the people in West Michigan don’t have a personal memory of September 11, 2001, because they were either very young or not even born yet when the World Trade Center was hit.

It’s now left up to parents and teachers to put it in perspective and try to make sense of it for their kids and students.

The biggest question Wendy Abby, a social studies teacher at Riverside Middle School in Grand Rapids, is asked “Why did it happen? Why would somebody do that?”

It’s not an easy task by any means, making something so real to many people relatable to a group of kids who have grown up in a world full of smart phones and iPads.

But maybe that’s the key.

“It allows us to give them more than a textbook, secondhand account of history and technology has allowed us to do that. And the more personal perspective they can get through primary sources, the more they learn to appreciate the history and see it from a human side,” said Abby.

It’s an area where everyone can help out the next generation by remembering out loud.

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