A steady wind blew the flag flying high over Route 114 from the fire truck parked outside at the Center firehouse, a memorial to 9/11.
In the field nearby, the students of the Shelter Island School’s 8th grade Honors Social Studies classes — some of whom weren’t born yet on September 11, 2001-— were clustered around the World Trade Center monument. Teachers Peter Miedema and James Bocca found a way to teach the 7th and 8th grade students about the significance of the day.
Mr. Miedema asked students read a line or stanza from W. H. Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939.” He asked his students what relevance a poem written 70 years ago had to the events of 9/11. The students asked and answered questions and maybe for just a moment, understood what the day and the memorial were about.
“Stand up and look around. What do you see?” Mr. Miedema asked as the kids stood and looked behind them. “Life. It still goes on.”