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Students Hear Firsthand Account From 9/11 First Responder

By Paul Boger | Published 12 Sep 2014 08:30am | comments

As Mississippians remember the events of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, some elementary school students are hearing a firsthand account of what happened. But presenting the tragic event to young students presents its own set of challenges.

Carl Schramm was a New York City fireman the day terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center. Now, 13 years later, he's retired, and speaking to children about his experience responding to that tragic event. Via a Skype meeting yesterday, Schramm spoke to fourth grade students at Eastside Elementary School in Clinton.

"We proceeded into the site of the World Trade Center not knowing what we were going to." says Schramm. "There was about 15 of us. Once I got down there, a group of us worked together. I spent probably the next 24 to 36 hours, I really couldn't tell you exactly. It went into the night, it go dark, it got light, it got dark. We just kept looking."

While Schramm enjoys talking to children, he say it can be difficult explain the events of 9/11 to anybody, let alone kids. That's a sentiment that teacher, Kerri Burnside, shares. She says she tries to explain the attacks to her class.

"It’s a part of history, and I think it's important that our children know and live and learn from what happens." Burnside says. "The main thing that I try to teach them is how our country came together both in big ways and in small ways and united we stand."

Jessette Romero is a student in Burnside's class, it's that concept of patriotism that resonates with her.

"I learned to bless America because we have freedom and we have everything we need." says Romero.

More than 3,000 people died on nine-eleven. Two of them were from Mississippi.

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