“Never forget” was a phrase echoed often after the September 11th attacks. But what if you aren’t old enough to remember it?
“We take it commonplace that people know these things. I remember my parents talking about the JFK assassination, that moment in time, where this flash bulb memory isn’t there. They’re too young,” says Kari Hall, social studies teacher at Williston High School.
And because they’re too young to recollect the events themselves, many rely on what they’ve been taught in the classroom.
“It’s a big thing but it’s also kind of hard for the generations because they weren’t born and they don’t remember it, but it still should be taught,” says Williston High School senior Lynze Swanson.
Through writing prompts, articles from the time period, and classroom discussion, students learn about the events and their significance.
“I think we need to make sure this generation understands what happened, because our life is completely different today,” says Hall.
And while the high school students have spent most of their lives in a post-9/11 world, for many, the message still resonates.
“It was one of those things where any time anybody talks about it, the whole room just goes quiet. It’s heavy with tension. It’s really powerful, really,” says Williston High School senior Andrea Hamlin.
But maybe in the end it’s not all the facts you can recite or the small details you’re able to recount, but the bigger lesson that’s learned, that’s most important.
“It made us stronger. I honestly think it wasn’t a good thing but our nation made it through and it made us stronger. It made our freedoms stronger. It was a time for us to stand up and say we’re not going to stand for this. We’re not going to let this happen,” says Williston High School senior Megan Jorgenson.
Those are the lessons about the past that today’s students will “never forget”.