20 Years Later: Bethel teacher remembers, teaches students about tragic day of 9/11

TIPP CITY, Ohio — While many of us can remember where we were at on September 11, 2001, students in grade school now, are learning about what happened second-hand.

Dru Besco, who is a high school teacher at Bethel Local Schools, that day is not an easy one to explain to students, and he remembers clearly what happened.

“That was an extremely terrible day,” he said.

Besco was teaching middle school history when the news of the first plane crash broke.

“We were watching when the second plane hit the tower and the kids didn’t realize history-wise that it was so big,” Besco said.

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When the second tower was hit, Besco said things hit close to home. “Everybody has those days when you remember everything that happened and for me, it was very crucial because one of my friends was in the twin towers and I was thinking I had to go to New York and it brings it back – it’s a tough day to get through,” he said.

Besco prepared to pack up and head east before finding out his friend made it out safely. In the following years, Besco was able to talk to students about what they remember from that day, how they heard about it, where they were when it happened, but for today’s students in his classroom, there weren’t alive in 2001.

He said, “So, it’s gone from kids actually experiencing it to kid’s kind of knowing what was going on.”

Besco has had to change how this piece of history is taught. “Our viewpoint is so different from what they really want to know.”

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Instead of talking about what’s not written in the history books, Besco said he spends the day talking about questions students have and about what really happened that day, and the 20 years following.

According to Besco, the biggest question students have is “why they did it.” That is a question that Besco has a tough time answering.

“They want to know what led up to it and why terrorists committed those acts of terrorism and that seems to be their biggest focus. There’s really no good answer for that,” Besco said.

Kayla Courvell

Kayla Courvell

I was born and raised in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and decided as a child I was going to be a news reporter.