We are all aware of the unspeakable tragedies of 9/11 but we rarely hear from people who were right there, close by the towers, but not physically injured. In this film, we meet elementary school kids, now teenagers, who were at PS 234 (3 blocks north of the north tower) who lost their childhood innocence that day.

Anna Switzer was the principal of PS 234 at the time. Her goal, rooted in the basic idea of American public education, was “to grow as many educated people as possible so that you can have a democratic society.”

I was compelled to find out whether she had succeeded and how the horrors of 9/11 had affected these little children. So I decided to make this film.

It was shot entirely on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at PS 234. Alumni were invited back for a commemoration and I sat with them in one of the south-facing classrooms, a room with a view of the new World Trade Center tower, still under construction.

This is their film. These kids – thoughtful, tolerant, hopeful and wise – have a lot to teach us.

Florence Buchanan
Mother of Harrison and Octavia Spelman (Octavia is in the film)


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