September 11

John Jay’s History Classes Remember 9-11

The sophomores in European History were riveted to the experiences that their teacher, Charles Morales-Thomason, shared of September 11, 2001, 22 years ago. "No matter what class I am teaching, on September 11, I teach September 11," he said afterwards.

It was one of the many age-appropriate ways that Katonah-Lewisboro’s teachers observed the anniversary of the September 11 attacks with their classes.

“It’s a history lesson,” said Morales-Thomason, who has taught social studies at John Jay High School for twenty-six years. “Up to a few years ago, students had memories and stories about the day. Now, I want to make sure they know the facts.”

sharing experiences

Honoring the 22nd Anniversary of the September 11 Attacks

It was a Tuesday, and the first full week of school, he told them. It was a beautiful day. “Close to the end of period three, the principal came on the PA system and told everyone that a plane had hit one of the Trade Towers in New York City, and that he would keep us updated,” said Morales-Thomason. “One of my seniors asked, ‘How could anyone fly a plane into the biggest building in the world?’”

The internet in 2001 wasn’t consistent, and we didn’t have screens in our classrooms like we do now, he told the teenagers.

It wasn’t till he called his wife during a free period that he learned that both towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan had been hit by airplanes and imploded.

After helping students glimpse the surrealness of the day, Morales-Thomason shifted into a concise overview the facts. Through photos and video clips, students learned how nearly 3,000 people were killed after four planes were hijacked by attackers from the Al Qaeda terrorist group. Bullet points and a map clarified the routes.

reviewing the facts

Remembering at the Memorial Pools

The presentation closed with photographs of the two Memorial Pools that sit in the footprints of the former North and South Towers. “Who has been there?” he asked the students. “Tell us what you experienced.”

“It was sad,” shared one student, who had been there recently. Another student described the site as quiet and respectful.

“There’s an annual ceremony there to remember what happened,” said Morales-Thomason. “Right now, they are reading the names of those who were lost their lives that day.”