This weekend marks twenty years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Although the date still stands out starkly to those who remember the attacks, it has become a part of history class for high school students who have been born since. The 9:57 Project, which began in 2014, aims to make that history lesson more immediate and personal, by providing “a mission-based education program that engages students and military veterans in a study of the legacy of September 11, 2001, leading students to embrace lives of character and service.”
Andrew Carroll, founding director of the Center for American War Letters, has partnered with the 9:57 Project to develop a curriculum guide, LINES OF FIRE, that uses letters and other primary materials from 9/11 survivors, American service members, and their families to teach students in grades 9-12 about the attacks and their aftermath. The letters that Carroll provides are used in lesson plans created by Peter Findler, co-founder and CEO of the 9:57 Project. As Carroll writes in the foreword to the guide, the letters that the Center for American War Letters preserves, and that are included in LINES OF FIRE, are more than just pieces of communication – they are high-caliber pieces of writing. “These literary works,” Carroll writes, “transcend the subject of war and teach us about grief, hope, compassion, empathy, love, the precariousness of life, courage, and resilience. There is, ultimately, hard-earned wisdom from which all of us can learn.”
The full PDF of the curriculum guide, LINES OF FIRE, can be accessed here on the 9:57 Project’s website.
Header image shows Andrew Carroll surrounded by letters and one page of a tear-stained letter by 9/11 survivor Anna Miller, featured in the first lesson of the curriculum guide.