NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Tragedy on this day 19 years ago led to unity in the days that followed. Togetherness among Americans ran deep and lasted quite a while.

But, some say that sense of unity is desperately needed now, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Friday.

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Times Square, the crossroads of the world, is where Jay and Kay Lowman remember seeing the attack that brought down the Twin Towers.

They watched through the window of a midtown apartment, not far away.

“We should always take that moment and remember,” said Kay Lowman.

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Kay said she feels gratitude for the sacrifices so many made, and the unity they sparked between Americans.

But, this year, they’re wondering if that unity is lost.

“I think it’s dimmed quite a lot,” said Kay.

“It’s fragmented,” said Jay.

“Our country is more divided than ever,” said Dennis DeAngelo Burton, who was in his middle school classroom when America was attacked 19 years ago.

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Burton, a digital marketer, said in the nearly two decade since, technological advances fostered faster and broader delivery of information, but also separation.

“We got a whole divisive structure operating and it’s more than one bad thing agitating a lot of things,” Burton said.

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Carlin interviewed others who said the key is to educate children about 9/11 and the togetherness that followed.

“I still remember it like it was yesterday,” said Wascar Vasquez. “And I’ll tell her the different stories of heroes and how, after the tragedy, the U.S. just became united as one. It’s sad to say, but we’re not united today.”

But, resilience never leaves us – from the patriotic flag waving in the aftermath of the attacks, to the recent nightly salutes to medical personnel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Unity is still here, but there is so much more we can do to feel like how we felt when 9/11 happened. I felt like, around that time, people were more… the love was genuine. Now, it’s kind of forced,” said Marie Harris.

“We need to embrace our diversity, embrace each other,” Kay Lowman said.

In other words, remembering how it was, helps to feel that way again.

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