Sept. 10, 2021
After contemplating ways in which to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Social Studies Department at Geneva High School chose a particular lens from which students could reflect on this time in our nation’s history: through the words and experiences of those who were alive when the events took place.
Social Studies faculty Matt Hahn, Annie Plackett, and Lucas Rojas began preparing for a 9/11 Remembrance Wall last year, knowing that it would be something that took careful planning.
The wall is organized in a timeline outside the social studies classrooms, which Department Chair Mr. Hahn said was created to help unpack the sequence of events for students, who were not yet born.
“The morning started like any day of school or business for many of us, but then there were so many things happening at different places and times across the country. A timeline helps to capture that there was so much to the day.”
Dispersed along the timeline are quotations from GHS staff, who were invited to share their memories or reflections from 2001. According to Hahn, about 55 staff members contributed their experiences to the wall display, which has been up all week for students and staff to visit.
Hahn said the department’s teachers plan to spend some time with students discussing not only the timeline of events with their classes, but also focusing on the remarkable and meaningful ways that individuals reacted during those events. “Many times, ordinary people do extraordinary things in times of crisis.”
This is not the first time the department has engaged students or staff around significant moments in history, explained Hahn. Some projects, past and future, include commemorating Black History Month, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day, to name a few. “We are making a concerted effort to shine light on important events in our nation.”