Fourth graders release balloons in honor of 9/11 victims - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Fourth graders release balloons in honor of 9/11 victims

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HERRIN, Ill. -- Fourth grade students at Herrin Elementary School released red, white, and blue balloons Tuesday as a way to remember 9/11 victims and rescue crews. 

Social Studies teacher Becky Bailie says it's meant to give students, who were born years after the tragedy, a memory of honoring all those who were impacted, "We just wanted something to where the kids were involved in something for remembering 9/11. Not just sitting, listening to us talk." 

The balloon release also marked the end of the student's Patriot Unit in social studies class, where they learned about 9/11 and the days leading up to the tragedy. 

Student, Carver, admits he didn't know much about 9/11 until taking the class, "There were two planes that crashed into the twin towers, and it was on purpose." 

While fellow student, Joselynn Brandon, says she only learned about the attacks from what her mom told her, "Thousands of people died just because of people wanting to hurt America." 

To learn more about the events, students read a book about a child who's father was a responding firefighter called "I survived 9/11." 

"It deals with a child and it tells about what they went through that day," Bailie says, "It gives students that point of view, so they can kind of relate to the child." 

Students also had to interview relatives about what they were doing when they found out the twin towers were attacked. Brandon talked with her step-dad and found out her uncle knew someone who was visiting New York City during that time. 

"He actually lived in Florida and his neighbor was in the second twin tower and was able to survive, so that was really interesting for me to learn from my step-dad," she says. 

However, Bailie says teaching these students about 9/11 is more than just learning about history, "They need to know that America is a great country, but they also need to know the hardships that have made us a great country." 

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