By Denise Koch
FREDERICK, Maryland (WJZ) — Deron Hornbeck is a history teacher at Frederick County’s Linganore High School. He teaches an elective course covering the events of 9/11. It is a course that he hopes will ensure future generations will never forget.
You feel it, Lord, the atmosphere in Deron Hornbeck’s classroom is serious.
“There are no words,” said Hornbeck. “Remember, there was this sense that the day it just kept getting worse, got worse in ways that were just almost unimaginable.’
These 12th graders elected to take this class. It starts with the actual day of 9/11 and examines every aspect of how and why America was attacked.
WJZ anchor, Denise Koch, asked Hornbeck, “Why did you decide that it would be important to teach high school kids about this very difficult subject?”
“Because their memories were fading. I remember teaching it right after 911 and each successive class would come in and they we all carry the same memories. And then year by year it was like watching it fade,” Hornbeck answered.
Emily is one of the few with a personal connection to this history. Her dad works at the Pentagon. He was not in the building on 911.
“He’s kind of told me it was a shocking time for him. He knew a lot of people there and so did my mom she knew people in the world trade center too, who had died,” Emily said.
Hornbeck created this class in 2015. His students read the 911 Commission Report: Heroism and Horror. They have even traveled to Shanksville to the site of the fourth plane crash.
Students can choose the level of emotional material they study.
Some listen to recordings, such as Melissa Dois, pleas from the 83rd floor of the South Tower.
His student, Shane says he will join the military when he graduates high school but not out of anger at the event he’s learning about and love, not anger — what Hornbeck believes is the class’s final lesson.
“There were 19 hijackers. But I will tell you there were far more acts of love on 911 than there were acts of evil. All you have to do is look at the number of firefighters and paramedics who died and police officers who died and compare that to the 19. And that’s how you have to frame these events,” said Hornbeck.
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