Unit 1 – Connect & Reflect

1. Fact: On the morning of September 11th American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 both departed from Boston. Both flights were headed to California and were hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists who flew planes into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, 17 minutes apart at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m.

Personal Experience Question: How does Principal Dolch describe the reaction of her students to what they were witnessing? How does Principal Dolch know that her sister might be in danger? Instead of trying to communicate with her sister why does she choose to concentrate on evacuating her students?

2. Fact: The South Tower (the one closest to the school) was the second tower to be attacked but the first to collapse, 56 minutes after impact. The South Tower collapsed in about 10 seconds, pulverizing the 110 stories and everything in them into a massive dust cloud. The North Tower collapsed 27 minutes later, generating a second dust storm.

Personal Experience Question: Principal Dolch told the students to take a partner and quickly evacuate, moving south. Why is it important to stay together in an emergency?

3. Fact: After the collapse of both towers, the sixteen-acre site was covered in burning debris piles, some reaching 70 feet. Pockets of fires burned for almost six months at high temperatures. Schools, businesses, and residents had to be relocated for a long period of time.

Personal Experience Question: How many months passed before the students were able to return to their school? Why did they have mixed emotions? What do you think some of their fears might have been about returning?

4. Fact: 2,749 people were killed at the World Trade Center on September 11th, including people at work, people who rushed in to help, and the airplane passengers and crew. In response, many families created foundations, scholarships, or special projects to help others in need as a way to commemorate the loss of their family members.

Personal Experience Question: Why does Principal Dolch want to honor the loss of her sister Wendy by creating a school in Afghanistan? Why does she believe that education is an investment for future peace? What are your thoughts about this?

5. Fact: Nationally and internationally, an unprecedented spirit of volunteerism and community-building after 9/11 helped the city heal. Many city officials have written that 9/11 was the worst experience of their lives, but it was also New York City at its best in terms of how people came together to help and support each other.

Personal Experience Question: Principal Dolch is very concerned that her students not retain hateful, angry feelings, believing that the humanitarian message of 9/11 is an important component. What examples does Principal Dolch share about volunteers coming to help at the school or offering students opportunities to recover and heal? What kind of rebuilding projects does she involve her students in? What does Principal Dolch mean when she says her students are “History Makers?”