Local teacher speaks on teaching 9/11 terror attacks to students who weren’t born yet

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many schools across the country are teaching the tragedy to students who weren’t even born yet.

Madison Central High School United States History Teacher Elizabeth Barger joins millions of other Americans in remembering exactly where she was on September 11th, 2001.

“I was a freshman in college, and I was getting ready for my morning class on Tuesday morning,” Barger said.

And she remembers exactly how she felt as she watched the tragedy unfold.

“My mom called me and let me know the first plane had hit the World Trade Center,” Barger said. “Just the rest of the day, it was kind of a mix of emotions.”

But for students like Simran Dahliwal, 9/11 is simply history.

“Somebody’s just telling you about it. You don’t know how it feels,” Dahliwal said. “So you kind of have to just form an idea of how it would feel if you were in that situation.”

Dahliwal said memorials like the one held Friday morning at Madison Central help her feel more connected to the terrorist attacks.

“I can see how much it means to other people,” she said. “It provokes a lot of emotion out of me.”

Barger said conveying to her students how she felt that day is difficult at times. But doing so is important because, for her and many others, that piece of history will forever be personal.

“I think it’s just really important that we pass on that remembrance of those that died as well as those that responded and assisted those days to help them understand the gravity of the situation,” Barger said.

She also said she tries to focus less on the fear and more on how the nation moved forward. She finds importance in showing her students how 9/11 helped shape the world they live in today.

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