SUNY Potsdam 9/11 Exhibit Part Of PHS History Lessons


POTSDAM — Students in Joe Van Ells's history classes at Potsdam High School got a firsthand glimpse of history Friday as they visited the 9/11 memorial exhibit at SUNY Potsdam.

The exhibit included a timeline of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as an engine turbine from one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center.

"The fact that they found it and brought it to Potsdam was a big deal, but the fact that it hit one of the World Trade Centers really brings it home," Potsdam senior Angelo Landi said.

Mr. Landi is a student in Mr. Van Ells's participation in government class. Mr. Van Ells also took his U.S. history and civics classes to the exhibit as part of a two-day mini-unit on the events of 10 years ago.

On Thursday, students watched a brief documentary, "102 Minutes," that was produced by the History Channel. They then were challenged to identify ways the world has changed since that time.

Among the changes identified by students were the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, increased airport security, global awareness of al-Qaida and terrorism and economic issues.

"The stock exchange closed for three days," Jeffrey R. Pignona said.

When asked what he remembers from that day, Mr. Pignona replied, "I remember getting talked to by my parents. They wouldn't let me watch the TV, then later that night they talked to my brother, sister and me and let us know what was up."

Kristen Maroni said she remembers the day and wondering what was going on.

"I didn't realize what was going on at the time," she said. "It's hard to think that it happened when we were so young."

For that reason, Mr. Van Ells said, he felt it was important for the students to see the exhibit and learn a little bit about 9/11 and its aftermath.

"They were so young when it happened and a lot of parents shielded them from it. In fact, I think a lot of the elementary schools were protecting them from it too," he said. "That's why we spent two days on it with the video yesterday and today going to the exhibit. I think it was really important for them to experience it."

Students in each of his classes also will be making a presentation in front of their classmates Monday, in the form of an essay, poem, song, poster or cartoon strip that answers the question, "How has the world changed in the past 10 years as a result of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001?"

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Courtesy of Daily Courier Observer

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