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Since 9/11

Speaker tells students about her experience of 9/11


Date published: Tue 19 Dec 2017   Author: HLH   Category: News   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email


Over 350 students attended a Citizenship presentation last week hosted by Since 9/11 a charity created to educate young people on the events of 9/11 and how terrorism affects us today. 

Janice Brooks, a British survivor of the World Trade Center attacks spoke to the sixthform about her experience of 9/11 and the following months, her memories of the event and some of the people she lost. It was the first ever talk for Janice and although she was nervous, she was pleased with the response and hopes to do more in the future.

A future free of terrorism and combating extremism through education are all part of the charity's aims.

Before the talk, the school’s Interact group had an interactive discussion with SINCE 9/11 Director, Liam Duffy. The students discussed 9/11, how terrorism has changed since then and the mission of the charity. The students were a credit to the school and discussed how they might be able to support the charity.

Janice Brooks, is a self-described ‘East End girl’ who found herself in an incredible moment in history, then shared her moving account of escaping the World Trade Center building. Her story detailed the people she met, the people she will never see again, the months following, and the trauma of the event which she still bears the weight of 16 years later. The students listened intently as she relayed her poignant story and greeted the conclusion of the talk with a thunderous and emotional round of applause.

Speaking at the first talk of this new initiative, Charity Director Liam Duffy, underlined the significance of allowing young people to hear directly from survivors: “Eye witness accounts and survivor testimony are an all too often overlooked element of the story of terrorism since 9/11, and of our efforts to foster a generation ready to stand up to extremism and violence. These stories remind the audience that terror attacks, whether 9/11 or 7/7, are more than just dates and statistics, that there are real, innocent human beings at the heart of these catastrophic events.”

"Young people today have grown up in a post-9/11 world; and the 6th form students in the room will have been too young to remember the events that many of us remember as if it was yesterday. Not only is our mission to prevent future tragedies through education, we also want to move forwards to build a more peaceful and tolerant future, and ensure that the victims of terrorism are not forgotten.

By adding a name, a face, and a human element to these atrocities, we believe younger generations will be better equipped to challenge extremism and much of the misinformation regarding both terrorism and 9/11."

Simon Etheridge, Subject Leader, Religious Studies and Citizenship commented "The School was honoured to host Ms. Janice Brooks on 5th December 2017. Janice Brooks spoke to around 350 students. This presentation was brilliantly and kindly organised by Liam Duffy from Since 9/11. For a number of years, the School have remembered the events, victims and survivors of 11th September 2001. It was our greatest honour to host Janice Brooks and students were captivated, moved, inspired and challenged by the most wonderful of presentations delivered in a friendly, natural, thoughtful, sensitive, humble, positive and resilient manner. Students reported it was the best ever presentation they had heard. Such tragic and terrible events were narrated with such beauty, emotional intelligence, humility and kindness. "Their light will never go out."

9/11 Poem"Your light is not diminished…" (*)

A normal day

In a large, normal office

The people of the World Trade Centre sat at their desk, clueless like ants

A large shadow

Screams

"Your light is not diminished…"

A plume of grey cloud snaked from the centre of the World Trade Centre

The people’s ears blind, the people’s eyes deaf

The world spinning

"Your light is not diminished…"

The Centre ablaze

The smoke swallowing the buildings in whole

Terror

"Your light is not diminished…"

12 people escaped

What they saw is nothing we will ever see

They saw people

Those people were either dead or dying

Imagine being that person

"Your light will not be diminished…"

Poem by Luca Santos Sims, Year 8
(*)Quote from news.com.au