It really doesn't seem that long ago that the Twin Towers fell, the Pentagon was struck and sadly a lone plane in Pennsylvania crashed with true American heroes on board. The images of September 11, 2001 has been etched into the collective memory of Americans. Or has it? In a recent issue of School Library Journal, (7/26/11) resources on September 11th were discussed in the context that most students today do not have a connection to the events of that infamous day. To most students today it is just another history date on the calendars. The remedy to correct this problem the authors suggest is to connect students to primary sources. That is a wonderful idea, however there is an additional step that schools, libraries and parents can take in bringing home not only the events of 9/11 but also Patriotism. Just recall how everyone in the days, months after the tragedy how many Americans not only mourned with the families who suffered deep losses but waving the American flag was considered another form of expressing unity.
Patriot Week in Michigan will be celebrated September 11-17, 2011. (At this time, if other states are celebrating a form of Patriot Week is unknown) This week is dedicated to celebrating the First Principles and the men and women who have proven to the world that a democratic republic could not only be formed but actually be the best form of governing since it has latest for over 200 years. To participate in the week's event there is only one prerequisite: a yearning to learn more about America and her history. No need to be card toting Republican, Democrat or Independent. This is for every American, young and old alike. Judge Michael Warren and his daughter Leah were inspired to find a way to renew the Spirit of America. In order to accomplish this they set out to inform fellow citizens about the Founding Fathers, First principals, Equality and the Constitution. These concepts, which are the bedrock of the American government, should be well known to adults and children of all ages. This event is the perfect occasion for a refresher course on American history, at the same time making certain that students today will have a connection not to the date September 11, 2001 but to other dates such as July 4, 1776.
For libraries big and small, this is the perfect time to showcase the wonderful resources that are available that will further bring home the ideas of Patriot Week. Highlighting such books as Cheney's We The People or Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride. Providing an annotated bibliography for patrons to use during the week would be the simplest way to participate. (If libraries do not have time to put together a bibliography, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get a copies of "Patriotic Books for Patriotic Families") Even simpler, place a link on the library's webpage to www.patriotweek.org.
Libraries are the "institutions" of self-education. Directing students and patrons to primary and historical resources on 9/11 and Patriot Week can ensure that pride in being American will be passed on for generations to come. In addition, young patrons will learn that educating oneself on any topic is as easy as going to the learning institutions called the "library"