Heartland students explore significance of 9/11

Students explore significance of 9/11
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:47 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 6:23 PM CDT
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PUXICO, Mo. (KFVS) - 9/11 is a vivid memory for those of us who lived through it.

No doubt you remember where you were when you first heard the news of the terrorist attacks.

It’s also become part of American history, and a lesson taught today at schools across the Heartland.

Puxico history teacher Tonna Odell knows how important it is to teach her students about what happened on September 11th, 2001.

“The students we teach today were not alive and they don’t really have that personal experience with 9/11,” Odell said.

Odell has been giving lectures like this for 20 years, and as more time passes, she said it’s harder for kids to understand the magnitude of that day.

“I am starting to see that there is a disconnect, like they just can’t seem to relate to the feelings,” she explained. “I tend to cry every year when I teach this lesson and get very emotional.”

So Odell asked her junior high students to interview their family members about what they remember.

“That’s what I want to communicate to the kids is just to show them how real this event was, how real it is and how it affected our country,” said Odell.

We also talked with two of her students.

“I feel kind of sad because I know that people lost their lives in the process,” said Rylan Appleton.

“All those family members that lost family members, to know what they have been through, no one will ever understand how terrifying and sad that was,” said Daelyn Rogers.

Odell said it’s important her students learn all the lessons of the past, even the painful ones.

“And how our country has come together in the hard times and in the trials. That’s really where the strength of the country lies in the American people pulling together and that’s exactly what we did on 9/11.”