9-11 attacks a classroom lesson for young students

Published On: Sep 11 2013 05:32:50 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 11 2013 06:32:52 PM CDT
LA CROSSE, WI -

For many, the events of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks 12 years ago are as clear as if they'd happened yesterday.

But for elementary and middle school students, it's something they've only learned about through stories and classroom lessons.

Eighth graders at Lincoln Middle School were one year old when the September 11 attacks happened.

While they can't remember that day firsthand, their history teachers are making sure the memory of those lost is not forgotten.

Memories that have barely dimmed for some, are only classroom stories to others.

"This is the most significant day in history in my life," Lincoln Middle School student teacher Charlie Alexander told his students on Wednesday.

"I learned that two airplanes went into the Twin Towers and one into the Pentagon and one into the fields of Pennsylvania," said eighth-grade student Sam Bahr.

Bahr was only 1 when the attacks happened.

"It's actually kind of scary because everyone has their own story but there's one thing they have all in common and it's their fear," said Bahr.

"Everyone was scared and there was panic," said Alexander.

The students are spared few of the horrific details.

"The video that we showed them, it's the History Channel, where they show the second plane going into the tower and you can see the reaction on their faces," said Alexander.

And while the tragic facts are taught, so is the good that rose out of so much pain and loss.

"Every flag had been sold, so in some ways the most tragic of events of my lifetime in some ways was the most unifying," said eighth-grade U.S. history teacher Terri Johnson.

It's a message of hope Bahr said he'll never forget.

"It's like a big attack on the U.S. but in the end we're all united as one and if we fight and push for it we can succeed," said Bahr.

Many of the 8th grade students at Lincoln said they've learned bits and pieces about 9/11 ever since they were young.

But teachers say they still have some students who didn't know it even happened.

Other middle schools and high schools in the La Crosse area held a moment of silence this morning to honor the memory of those lost 12 years ago.