The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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United We Stand

The old pit remained silent through every class period as eight firemen, a police officer and a representative from the United States Marine Corps were handed students’ red, white and blue notecards to outline the shapes of the twin towers on the wall.

Terrence Jozwik, head of the Social Studies Department, along with other members of the Social Studies Department including David Schoenwetter, Jeffrey Scheinkopf, Stacy Flannery and Daniel Rhoades organized this activity involving all the social studies classes, to commemorate 9/11 on its tenth anniversary.

“[We] asked them to create one of these cards and put a memory on it that they have or a memory that perhaps they were given by somebody that was older—a variety of different things other than planes crashing into buildings,” Jozwik said.

Principal Brian Wegley believes that a lot of work was done in the Social Studies Department to plan for the event and that the teachers did a commendable job putting it together.

“I just can’t tell you how impressed I was with the idea of it—the hard work that went into setting it up, and how incredibly thoughtful and classy our students were with that reflection,” Wegley said.

According to Jozwik, he and the other teachers who came up with the idea thought it would be nice for students to be more involved in an activity on the tenth anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks that took place on 9/11.

“We just said, ‘What can we do that would get everybody to do something[…]and not just sit and listen to an event that not [everyone] can remember because they were too young?’” Jozwik said.

Students were asked to remain silent as they walked from their social studies classes to the old pit and handed their cards to the servicemen. Jozwik was impressed with the amount of respect students expressed and said they were, for the most part, silent.

Wegley recognized the time and effort students put into their reflections on 9/11 and said they were very respectful throughout the process.

“[It] was something I took great pride in,” Wegley said.

Jozwik said that having the service personnel to help place reflections on the wall of the old pit caused an even greater appreciation for those who serve others.

“I think from that day, ten years ago, the country was unified,” Jozwik said. “We all felt proud to be Americans and sad over the tragedy[…]I think, to a degree, students felt a little bit of that sadness and that unity.”

The department also showed each class a film called Everything created by a man named Nelson Sixta. It was a portrayal of all the events that happened on 9/11 and was used to give the students who do not remember as well more of an emotional perspective as to what happened that day.

The film was only eight minutes long, yet incredibly powerful, according to Jozwik.

“A lot of teachers showed that film as kind of an entrance to talk about it,” Jozwik said. “[…] How Americans responded to that tragic day is so well portrayed in that film.”

In their separate classrooms, social studies teachers honored the event in a variety of ways including talking about their personal experiences and reflecting on them.

“A number of people told personal stories[…]of where they were,” Jozwik said. “Many of them were at Glenbrook South […], and [they talked about] what it was like to be in school between eight and nine o’clock on that day.”

Along with the Social Studies Department’s activity in commemoration to the tenth anniversary, Wegley made an announcement at the beginning of first period, which included a moment of silence by the entire school.

Wegley recalled that since 9/11, there has been more service among the nation’s youth, along with a more ‘giving’ mind-set. He believes the nation has persevered and turned the tragic events into ways to do good things.

“The other positive things we can take from that are lessons that we can take pride in, I think, truly as a nation and as a community,” Wegley said. “I’m always a proud principal of this school, but that day was special. It just highlighted the outstanding people in this school.”

I remember….

Senior Jackson Reighard

“I remember going out to dinner the night of 9/11 for my mom’s birthday.  The video of the towers collapsing was playing over and over again at the restaurant. Everyone gave my family weird looks as we sang happy birthday.”

Dean Ronald Bean

“I was working at Rich East High School. I remember my principal called and said he needed all the administrators in the office, so we came in and [he told us]. I remember seeing on the TV in the library what turned out to be the second plane hitting the second tower and everybody kind of said, ‘Oh this is a re-run,’ but then we realized it was the second tower that had gotten hit.”

Principal Brian Wegley

“I was teaching physics and the announcement came on that the World Trade Center had just been hit, and of course my students asked me to turn the T.V. on and I did. We all sat in horror not knowing exactly what was going on. We saw flames coming out of the first tower and [listened] to the reports of the potential that something had happened to the Pentagon. It was horror watching that second plane hit. The students and I watched together. I had a student in class who had a family member that worked in the Trade Center; of course we were getting that person immediately in touch with guidance, to contact their families. No cell phones would go through, the whole area was just jammed there was just a disturbance as we sat and watched that. It was terrible, just terrible. Seeing those buildings fall – [I] was just glad we were all together. It was a very difficult time, a very difficult day.”

Senior Megan Karnig

“My mom pulled me out of school along with all of my cousins and told us it was ‘cousin day.’ I didn’t know what had happened until my mom told me that night. I was totally clueless all day and just [spent] time with my family because my mom felt that was important.”

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