9/11: Teaching Those Too Young To Remember

BUFFALO, NY - Almost anyone who can remember September 11, 2001, can tell you where they were and what they were doing during the terror attacks on America.

But a growing number of citizens cannot do that, because they were simply too young.

And what they learn about that watershed day in American history, and the changes that have come about because of it, is solely up to what we decide to tell them.

"Honesty is important," said Linda Gianturco, a reading specialist at Hoover Elementary School in Kenmore. "Sharing your own feelings about how you reacted when you saw those planes flying into the World Trade Center ...is what they're really looking for. Your honesty and your real feelings."

"I think it's important for them to know that there are people who risk their lives for our safety," said Karen Johnson, the mother of a six-year-old boy who attends the school, where children attended an assembly with first responders and members of the military. "You have to do that as kid friendly as possible to get that point, but they need to know that there are people here to protect them and to protect us," she said.

Added the school principal, Michael Huff, "for us I think we balance the sensitivity of the topic with the message...and the message is that we come together to embody the American spirit."

In downtown Buffalo, older children from the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter school visited Buffalo Fire Headquarters, and presented a bouquet of flowers to Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, in remembrance to all the firefighters lost in their attempt to rescue victims at the World Trade Center.

"We are talking about what happened on that day, and giving them opportunities to come and see those who experienced that...and how they (students) can turn this into something positive moving forward," said their principal Mustafa Ersoy.

"For them to come here is a big deal," said an appreciative Whitfield. "It's extremely important that we teach our children to care about human kind and about each other."

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Bill Boyer. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2.

-We wish to gratefully acknowledge Buffalo State College and the staff at the E.H. Butler Library for thier assistance with this story.


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