Students remember 9/11 in letters

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MANATEE COUNTY -- Teacher Diane Vestrand never imagined that a decision she made on September 11, 2001 would still be having an impact on students more than a decade later.

Vestrand, an eighth grade teacher at R. Dan Nolan Middle School in Bradenton, says she had her students write down journals of what they were seeing, hearing and feeling on September 11. Now, each year on the anniversary of the attacks, Vestrand pulls out those journals and uses them to teach about what happened on that day.

"I promised them that every year I was still teaching that I would let others students know what they went through and they could get close to the event just like they were," said Vestrand.

She says many of the students today were just babies when 9/11 happened and that the journals help them to feel an emotional connection to history.

"To me it feels like it was just yesterday," said Vestrand, "but with talking to the students it does feel like it was a lifetime ago because it was a lifetime ago for them."