NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The 9/11 Memorial and Museum provides a greater understanding of what happened that tragic day, especially for children who weren’t even born yet.
For those not yet born on 9/11, the classroom, in many cases thousands of miles away, has been the only place they’ve learned about it.READ MORE: Tunnel to Towers Weekend Kicks Off With Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert At Liberty Park
“They only show, like, videos and give us, like, little homework about it,” said 14-year-old Anika Shukla, of Connecticut.
“My parents didn’t really talk about it, and I didn’t really ask,” 19-year-old Cameron Kretzschmar, of Oregon, said.
“We learned about it a few times, like on a anniversary and stuff,” 13-year-old Will Stasik, of Michigan, said.
But after making their way through the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, these kids and teens took CBS2’s Alice Gainer through their experience.
“How different it is than in school, like, they have all the firetrucks and stuff … that got crushed during it,” said 13-year-old Aaron Degray, from Rochester. “I was sad, and just like, why did they do it?”
“I kind of felt like crying because it was really sad and, you know, it was really quiet inside,” 10-year-old Avani Shukla, of Connecticut, said.READ MORE: 20 Years After: The Transformation Of Ground Zero
“She got herself a golden ring in remembrance of surviving [the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] and it was found in the remains … I think that’s what hit me hardest, the most,” Kretzschmar said about Rosemary Smith, who was killed on 9/11.
“I was like, wow, what happened? I was really sad,” said 12-year-old Avika Gupta, from Seattle.
“How scared they would have been when they heard of the attack, as well as, like, people outside watching, you know, it happen,” Anika said.
“You realize what people went through to try to save people in the towers and how many people lost their lives doing their job in the line of duty. That was definitely one of the most impactful parts of it for me,” said 19-year-old Presley Pyle, from Oregon.
All of the teenagers and children CBS2 spoke with Wednesday say marking the anniversary of September 11th takes on greater significance to them now.
“I wasn’t really expecting it to hit me as hard as it did when I went in there,” Kretzschmar said.
“You’re not outside looking in anymore. You’ve been to that location, and you almost feel, even though I wasn’t even alive at the time, it’s much more of a connection to it and much more of a solemn respect for all the people that were here,” Pyle said.MORE NEWS: Remembering 9/11: Live Reading Of Names Returns To Lower Manhattan Ceremony Honoring Victims Of Terror Attacks 20 Years Ago
These teens and children, despite not being alive at the time, now having seen the exhibits, footage and artifacts, vow never to forget.