Patriot Day is celebrated today on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001.
To mark the anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, President Bush proclaimed that September 11 be named Patriot Day. On this day, the proclamation asks that flags be flown at half-mast and that the day be marked by ceremonies, candlelight vigils, and other remembrance services.
Even though this day marks the anniversary of a huge disaster, it is called Patriot Day. How does this label change our perceptions about the events of September 11, 2001? Ask students to write their explanation of why this date is now called Patriot Day. An alternative assignment could be to ask students to record their reflections about 9/11. What do they recall about that fateful day? How are their perceptions colored by how the media reported the event? Another alternative might be to explore the various meanings of the word "patriot." Is it possible to be a patriot and still disagree with certain aspects of the government? What is the best way to voice criticism of the government? Perhaps social studies teachers could join in a cross-disciplinary writing assignment about civil disobedience.
From the American Memory project, this extensive resource provides an explanation of the events with links to photographs, exhibits, and documents preserved in the Library of Congress collection.
This site has collected over 150,000 digital items related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Included are emails, images, and first-hand accounts. Because of the nature of the collection, you may want to preview the material before sharing with your students to ensure that the images and text are appropriate for your classroom.
This online exhibit from the National Museum of American History focuses on artifacts related to the attacks and stories that explain the significance of the items. The site includes educational resources and archived professional development sessions.