The Post 9/11 Generation

A Day of Remembrance for the First Era of Students to Not Personally Experience the Infamous Event

Lucy Edmunds, Editor-In-Chief

For many, 9/11/2001 was a date of which they can remember every minute detail. What they were doing when the towers were hit, where they watched (or witnessed) the event, and for some, the relieving calls from loved ones declaring their safety. The class of 2021 contains the first generation of teens to have not been alive during the attacks, filling high schools with students who only know life after 9/11. This generation is the one responsible for carrying on the memory of those events and the people lost, making this especially significant.

History teacher Mr. Andrew Scott recalls 9/11/2001 vividly.

“I was teaching history on Long Island and a colleague came into class and whispered in my ear that an airplane had just crashed into the Twin Towers. At the time, I didn’t understand the full meaning of his words –  I kept teaching. When class was over I walked across the hall to a friend’s classroom –  he had the TV on –  just in time to see the second plane strike the buildings. I, at first, thought it was a replay of the first strike. The enormity of the situation then began to dawn on me. Our school shut down the computers, but the librarian had a radio on. I remember well the stream of commentary, much of it untrue in retrospect.”

Pelham, despite being a small community, lost six residents to the attacks on 9/11. Firefighter Joseph Leavey, Montgomery McCoulough Hord, Robert Scandole, Joseph and Daniel Shea, and Micheal Andrew Tamuccio all were killed during the attacks, and many had families and children. What does Pelham do to honor those community members who lost their lives? Besides a moment of silence and maybe some information from social studies teachers, Pelham Schools do not carry out any larger-scale memorials to commemorate the lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

Mr. Scott stated, “I understand that each passing year the emotional pull of those terrible days lessens, but it is important to talk about it and memorialize it.” 

Cedar Grove High School in New Jersey was recently brought into the limelight with their Waves of Flags Display, at which students placed flags and nameplates for every life lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This had special significance  for their generation of students who were not alive for this  moment in history

In an interview with Cedar Grove Board of Education Vice President David Shoner said that until the students took part in a memorial of their own, “[the students] didn’t really grasp the magnitude of that day,” 

Junior, Erik Roksvold, believes that with PMHS’s moment of silence alongside teachers sharing their personal experience, the school does their part to recognize 9/11. For teens like Erik, their only recollection of the day comes from hearing about it from others.

Roksvold said, “My parents have told me about the day, what it means, and how it resonates with them. It was such an impactful event, Americans today still reap the consequences,”

Although no PMHS student was alive during the terrorist attacks, its effects on the country and its people remain. It is up to this generation to carry on the remembrance of the 2,977 people who died during the attacks, an honorable task of the utmost importance.