Moments of Silence

Today is September 11, 2013. Twelve years and one day ago, the world was a very different place. We’ll never forget, and moments of silence will always show respect and thoughtfulness on this day. Please, take a moment of silence today to remember those who died and those who suffered and for everyone who helped because of September 11, 2001. Today, proudly display your American flag, and remember that we’re all in this together.

The American flying in Port Jefferson, NY.

The American flying in Port Jefferson, NY.

By now, we’ve all spoken to each other many times about where we were on September 11, 2001. If you haven’t yet, write down your story to share with your children and grandchildren. Because they’ll want to know the same way you want to know significant days in the lives of your parents and grandparents.  Or write it for your own memory when you’re old and gray. Everyone’s story is important.

National Park Service’s Teaching With Historic Places: USS Arizona

The US Military wears the flag flying this way ("backwards" most of us would say) so it always looks like they are moving forward.

December 7 is the remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

USS Arizona. Image source: NPS Teaching with Place. Click for source link.

To learn about Pearl Harbor, try visiting the National Park Service’s webpage called, “Teaching with Places Historic Lessons Plans:  Remembering Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial.” You find maps, a brief history lesson, and historic images. Start here with the historical context:

The attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into World War II. The attack had significant and far-reaching political effects on the United States, changing the minds of many who had been philosophically opposed to war or who had taken a passive stance towards the war in Europe. The increasing diplomatic confrontations and economic sanctions against Japan by the United States and others, compounded by Japan’s undeclared war in China and the weakening of European control in Asian colonies, precipitated the war in the Pacific. The Japanese felt that the time was opportune to conquer British, American, French, Chinese, and Dutch territories in Southeast Asia. This belief pushed militaristic factions in Japan to provoke war with the United States. Fearing that the United States Pacific Fleet would pose a formidable obstacle to Japanese conquest of Southeast Asia, Admiral Isoruko Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, visualized a bold attack on the Pacific Fleet while it lay at anchor at Pearl Harbor. Such a surprise strategical attack, bold and daring in its execution, would, he believed, secure the Pacific.

Teaching with Historic Places is a part of the NPS’ Heritage Education Services. In a nutshell, “Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses properties listed in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom.”

Browse for lesson plans and interesting information, even if you are simply teaching yourself. Thanks for the resource, NPS!

VOTE on Tuesday November 4

American Flags near 30th Street Station, Philadelphia

American Flags near 30th Street Station, Philadelphia

America the Beautiful, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

Democracy only works when we employ it. Vote, please! If you don’t vote, you do not have a right to complain. (That would be called being a part of the problem, not the solution.) It doesn’t matter what your political opinion is, just VOTE on Tuesday. Or have your absentee ballot postmarked by Monday November 3.  Make your voting plans now if you haven’t already.

Our forefathers who believed in democracy will thank you for voting, as will future generations.