Mark Schwartz, World Trade Center Victim
Valrico, Florida -- Twelve years later, the September 11th attacks are being remembered across the country and in schools around the Bay area.
Adults can remember what they were doing the moment they heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center. But what about children who weren't even born? How can we teach them about the significance of that day?
Andrew Schwartz, a world history teacher at Mulrennan Middle School in Valrico shared his personal story with all of his sixth grade students.
Schwartz was a nursing student in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.
"I remember turning on the tv and it was CNN and down they came," said Schwartz, referring to the Twin Towers. "And that was it. That's how I found out. That's what I was doing."
Schultz's father, Mark Schwartz, was a first responder in New York City and was killed when the World Trade Center's south tower collapsed. His body was identified two days after the attack.
"I don't walk around sad, although I am sometimes," Schwartz told the students. "I don't walk around angry. But I walk around and I think, 'How can I make sure we don't forget what happened?'"
"I'm just shocked," said 11-year-old Peyton Yee. "Because I've never met anyone who has some real connection with someone who died there. I'm sure he's much more affected by it than I am because I don't have any family members or friends that died in it."
12-year-old Jordan Rodriguez was one of the few students who were actually alive when the country was attacked.
"I was five days old, clearly I don't remember anything," said Rodriguez. "My parents just tell me that it was just a tragic and great day to be an American."
For students who weren't alive, the lesson might lead to more discussion with their parents.
"We never really talk about it because I never really have wondered about it until today," said 11-year-old Hennessee Weller. "Today, Mr. Schwartz came to talk to us about it and it opened my mind."
For the children, it was a history lesson. But for Schwartz, it was something more.
"Instead of me sitting home and crying, instead of me looking at the videos, instead of me laying in bed, this is how I grieve. I grieve by sharing my story."