Newberry’s youth took to reflection Tuesday.
The next generation paid tribute across the schools in Newberry County 11 years ago.
While there were no formal ceremonies, the individual classrooms in the high schools had the option to discuss the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and how the impact continues to rumble today.
The high school teenagers were only between three and seven years old and while the freshmen may not remember too well, the juniors and seniors remember more bits and pieces along with what their parents and teachers relayed to them.
Mid-Carolina Assistant Principal Beverly Leslie commented to one group of freshmen that it was an emotional time and the post Sept. 11 changes “affect you and your families.”
Leslie and chorus teacher Lynn Grimsley reflected on a time they visited New York City after the terrorist attacks. Grimsley visited the city on an annual basis and commented on the eerie feeling where the Twin Towers once stood.
Grimsley remembered what happened in her chorus classes as she had freshmen students pick out songs with a message and sing with a group. She would also have them reflect and write about what the song lyrics meant.
Since many of the students were quite young, many of the students reflected on appreciating their families and friends and honoring the military.
One group of ladies chose a song by country singer Keith Urban, “For You” and said that the song spoke to them about the soldiers who have served overseas and helped them to realize how they may help others and give of their time.
Another group of guys chose a country song, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning,” and said that the song meant a lot to them because it was specifically on the Sept. 11 attacks.
“It makes you feel proud of what you have,” they concluded.
Chorus was not the only class where students reflected about the terrorist attacks 11 years ago.
Daniel Gregory had his economics class discuss the differences between a pre-Sept. 11 economy and post-Sept. 11 economy. He also had them reflect about their thoughts on what happened 11 years ago.
Gregory’s class is filled with juniors and seniors who were old enough to remember more details than the younger students.
Gregory also shared with his students about where he was and what emotions he felt.
The social studies teacher was actually a senior in high school and he remembers how nothing happened for the rest of the school day and the football game that happened later that week had a different atmosphere.
Conversations were held and unity embraced all, Gregory explains in regards to the immediate days and months after Sept. 11.
One of his students says that she remembered working on a math problem and the teacher told the class what happened and she just automatically cried.
Another student that a teacher sat with the students and explained what happened while one student commented that she didn’t really know what was happening but there were tears and school was let out for the rest of the day.
Gregory related the historical moment to other generation’s moments such as the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy.
Gregory also handed out a couple of news articles about the Sept. 11 aftermath and had the students think about how the economy contrasts.
These two teachers are just a couple of examples of how students reflected on the historical moment. While some students say that not all of their classes did much of anything for various reasons, there were some teachers who stepped up to remember what happened.