Concerned that “as time distances us from the attacks, memories are fading,” a group commemorating the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, are launching an education program to help teachers teach about the terrorist strikes on the United States and the aftermath.
The World Trade Center United Family Group, which represents the families of victims, survivors, and rescue workers in New York, at the Pentagon, and in the field in Pennsylvania, will make the National 9/11/01 Civic Education Program available to schools next year.
The program will provide tools for teachers that recount and examine what happened that day and the events that followed, according to the New York City-based organization. It is being designed in collaboration with the Taft Institute for Government at Queens College.
“We learned as family members in the aftermath of 9/11 that the only way to true democracy is to participate in it,” said the group’s executive director, Anthony M. Gardner. His brother, Harvey Gardner, was killed in the World Trade Center attacks. “We draw on the stories of hope and survival and courage and sacrifice [from that day] to engage the youth and inspire them, and show them that they can make a difference,” he said.
The materials are modeled after those used to teach about the Holocaust, featuring first-person interviews and documentary footage.
The work is being supported by a $100,000 grant from the Philadelphia-based ACE INA Foundation. More information is available at www.wtcunited.org
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2006 edition of Education Week