NORTH EAST — One of the most horrific days in American history occurred in Greg Henning’s first week of teaching at North East High School.
“The principal came on the intercom and said one plane crashed into a tower,” Henning recalls, “and then 30 minutes later another plane crashed into the other tower.
“We pretty well knew at that point in time our country was at war. By the end of the day, over 2,000 people were dead.”
It has been 20 years since that day, and Mr. Henning teaches his students about the longest war in American history which stems from Sept. 11, 2001.
Being an Iraq veteran, he uses that experience in his classes. He even teaches a whole semester course called “The Medal of Honor.”
“It’s a character education class,” he said. “Every year, we take students down to [United] Flight 93 [in] Shanksville and let them experience that.”
The United Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa. is where one of the four hijacked planes crashed, leaving all 44 passengers dead.
“It’s really profound to go down there and walk the ground and hear the stories,” Jennings said. “What happened there that day, it’s heart wrenching on one level, but there were heroes on that aircraft.”
Henning said walking on the ground at the memorial gives his students an understanding of just one part of the many events that happened on 9/11.
“They walk away with a better appreciation of the sacrifices from those people.”
Henning said most of his students end up serving in the military. In fact, 10 percent of the students who graduate from North East High School go on to serving our country.
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