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September 11th Letter from Muñiz, 2001

Letter from Jorge Muniz

Letter from Jorge Muniz

New York City Municipal Archives, NYCMA_RWLG_WTC_23
Document Description
Letter from Jorge Muñiz, a student in Puerto Rico, to New York City Mayor Giuliani, September 11, 2001.
What kind of letter is this? Is it in a friendly letter format or a business letter format?
Why would a student in Puerto Rico write this letter in school?
What do you notice about the student's writing? Why is his English sometimes less than perfect?
What happened on September 11, 2001? What was the effect of that day? How has our world changed because of it?
Who is this letter addressed to? 
Locate any geographical mistakes in this letter.
Historical Challenges
What were the circumstances and effects of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941? What are the similarities and differences between the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the attack on September 11, 2001?
Write a report on schools in Puerto Rico. What are the schools' schedule and curriculum, and how long is the school day? Do students learn in Spanish, English, or both languages?
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Research and read about current events in another country. Write letters to a school in that country about some of their current happenings.
Foreign Language/ESL: Translate this letter into another language.
Gerstein, Mordicai. 2003. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. Roaring Brook Press, 2003.

Historical Context
On the morning of September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes in order to cause havoc and death in the United States. That morning, flight number 11 was scheduled to fly from Boston to Los Angeles. Tragically, it crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46 a.m. Minutes later, at 9:03, another hijacked airplane flying from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the South Tower. While the country was focused on the turmoil in New York City, a third plane flying from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles crashed into the Pentagon at 9:38 a.m. The fourth hijacked plane was flying from New Jersey to San Francisco. This last plane did not make it to its target, but crashed in rural Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh. Approximately 3,000 people died from the attacks. The victims were a diverse group of men and women from ninety different countries around the world. Notes of sympathy came from all over the world. These letters were written in English as part of a classroom assignment in a school in Puerto Rico.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were the largest strike against Americans in the United States since the attack on Pearl Harbor during the Second World War. The suspected mastermind behind these heinous acts was Osama Bin Laden, leader of a terrorist network called Al Qaeda. These attacks spurred the War in Iraq, also known as the "War on Terror." The United States and coalition armed forces from many different countries are battling militant groups, terrorists, and other general hostilities in Iraq in pursuit of eliminating terrorist cells and bringing democracy to the Middle East. The people of the United States and the world have become deeply divided about the War in Iraq. President Bush’s administration has been questioned about its intentions in Iraq, as well as the purpose, procedures, and outcomes of the war.

Essential Question
Why do localized events cause global reactions?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the main idea of this essay and explain why this student would feel so deeply about an event that took place so far away.