WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — September 11, 2001, is a day many of us will never forget. But for some, it’s a day they don’t even remember.
We spoke with a group of fifth graders at Mary C. Williams Elementary. They were all babies the day terrorists attacked America. They don’t remember the events of the day that shook our world, but they have a pieced-together view of it from family members, teachers and the media.
“I think of the people who died in those two planes and how many kids just lost their parents for no reason just because of the terrorists wanting them to die,” Tais Aguirre said.
“The two that crashed into the towers, one in each tower and all the people that died, one that crashed into the Pentagon, and the one that the passengers took over that crashed into the ground so that more people wouldn’t die,” said Rachel Stoner, as she detailed what she’s learned of the events of that day.
Maria Bautista has even learned about the perspective witnesses had.
“The first plane crashed, and they thought it was an accident,” she said. “But when the other plane crashed, they already knew they were under attack.”
The lessons they’ve learned about 9/11 include the innocent start to the day for President George W. Bush.
“He was going to second graders’ class, and he was reading a book to the little children, and one of his staff came and whispered something into his ear,” Joacheim Price said.
“I know that it was terrorists, and they were wanting to do that on purpose,” Kaliya Williams said. “They were just trying to see how many people they could kill.”
Teacher Deb Fauble says these kids have lived their entire lives in a cloud of war.
“I think it’s important that we never forget, and we don’t put it under the covers of saying they’re too young, because it is a part of our country’s history,” Fauble said. “But I also think that we have to let them know that good things happen in really bad times and people step up and do the right thing even when they are challenged.”
The children know the world they entered 10 years ago is not the same world they live in today.
“Just a few rules have changed, and we’re more careful,” Stoner said. “There’s still terrorists, but it’s harder for them to come into the US now.”
“I think that accident actually made the United States more united and made us get more together as a big family, a big country,” Aguirre said.
Most of the children say they are hopeful for the future, but they still fear another attack.