As the nation approaches the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is hard for many to believe that nearly all current public school students had not yet been born when the attacks happened. Educators are trying to find the right way to teach children about it, and families who have lost loved ones are trying to help.
Pat Bavis lost his brother Mark on 9/11. The 31-year-old hockey scout was a passenger on United Flight 175. Bavis has a picture of his brother in his office in Canton, Massachusetts, but that is far from the only way he is keeping the legacy alive.
"When tragedy happens, you can either go down or try to rise up," he said.
Bavis' mission now is to educate young people about what happened on 9/11. In partnership with the non-profit Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, they have created videos and an entire curriculum that educators can download for free.
"We want our loved ones' names to be remembered and we want them to know what happened to our country 20 years ago. I don't think kids see the magnitude of what happened on that day," Bavis said.
The lessons are interactive and include questions and multimedia presentations. Tim Rowe, a social studies teacher at Rockland High School, says what the group created far exceeds reading about the attacks in a textbook.
"The 9/11 Fund has helped us bring it home, because there are people from our communities that we lost. They are brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers and they turn 9/11 into a day of service," Rowe said.
Over the next 20 years, Bavis' goal is to get the materials in every school. He said it is the best way to make sure those too young to remember never forget.
"I think [my brother] would think I'm crazy I've been doing this for 20 years, but I also think he'd be proud," Bavis said.
You can find out more about the 9/11 curriculum they created here.