Honoring 9/11, Generation Growing Up Not Remembering Attacks

Date: Sept. 11, 2015

WATERTOWN, NY (WWNY) – Where were you 14 years ago when the planes struck the World Trade Center buildings? One Fort Drum fire officer was on duty when he found out.

A few days later he went down to the World Trade Center site to help emergency crews.

Captain Robert Tennies told his story Friday at Fort Drum’s ceremony honoring the lives lost and those who served on that tragic day.

“There was no one on the streets. There were no lights on. The city streets were filled with debris and dirt,” he said. “I had a feeling in my stomach that made me very sick for what I was looking at. ”

At Jefferson Community College, students and staff gathered to remember and pray.

“It’s one of those important dates in history that could easily be lost if we don’t commemorate the events,” said Cynthia Schelmidine, an assistant professor at JCC who organizes the event every year.

The phrase “never forget” was often spoken in the wake of that terrible day.

But,  if you’re an 18 year old college student now, you probably weren’t even in kindergarten in 2001.

For those college students – it’s seen as another moment in American history.

“Pearl Harbor and 9/11, they were in our past and we weren’t there for it, but everyone else that was remembers that,” said JCC student Brooke Snyder.

“For me its something I just learned in class. I don’t remember the day or what I was doing. I don’t have my own stories, just everybody else’s stories,” said JCC student Kaitlyn Wallace.

But of course 9/11 is still very much America’s story, which is why in Clayton they did a very American thing today – held a parade.

They marched to remember, to celebrate those who helped on that awful day – and to remind a new generation: never forget.