They have been researching the Hawks Nest Tunnel for nearly a year as part of a project to develop a middle school educational curriculum that will complement a documentary on the disaster being produced by David Pushkin.
Their trip to Summerville brought them face to face with the legacy of Hawks Nest. They heard from victims' families and walked the grounds where bodily remains were unceremoniously abandoned.
The great William Faulkner wrote that "the past isn't dead. It isn't even past."
Those ceremonies reminded students that we as a society cannot move forward without honoring and heeding the lessons of our past.
Zacks is vice president of the board of directors of Mountaineer Montessori School.