12 years after 9/11, a generation struggles to remember attack - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

12 years after 9/11, a generation struggles to remember attack

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Where were you on September 11, 2001? It's a question so many Americans can answer without skipping a beat. But for younger Americans, it's tough to never forget a tragic event they struggle to understand or even remember.

"I remember my mom taking me into her room and explaining what was going on," said Coastal Carolina student Whitney Lewis.

College freshmen today were barely into the first grade when a terrorist attack brought down the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. High school seniors were just a few weeks into their formal education.

"I want to have the opportunity to let students know what happened that day," said Lcpl. Felix Cruz. Cruz is an SRO at St. James Middle School now, but 12 years ago he was an New York City police officer and a first responder to Ground Zero.

"It's a part of me forever," he said.

Every year, Cruz talks to local students in the Grand Strand. He shows them the uniform he wore on that day and photos he took of the devastation. He does it so young people who never understood 9/11 can never forget what he and others went through.

"They can go home and talk to their parents about what occurred," he said. They can have that connection."

For the students Cruz talks to, from elementary school on through college, they've grown up in the post-9/11 world. They've been immersed in the aftermath of the terror attacks, the struggles of a nation trying to find a happy medium between freedom and safety, and the attempts by the United States to rid the world of terror.

But, they never experienced the shock on the day that started it all.

"Sadly, I think it's just another day," Lewis said. "Thank the Lord we're alive and we're safe, but I think America's begun to neglect it."

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