Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Millennial Generation hosts 9/11 Memorial
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
HORSEHEADS -- (WENY) A lot of us remember exactly what we were doing when the Twin Towers came down on September 11, 2001, but a lot of the kids from the Horseheads Youth Bureau who put together a memorial service today were too young to remember and others weren't even born.
They're called the post 9-11 or millennial generation. Most have no recollection of what happened, but it's something they'll live with for the rest of their lives.
"They haven't known that world before 9/11 where there was that peace and you can safely walk without wondering what's going to happen in your schools and going to the airport and things like that and security checks," says Social Worker, Lori Mitchell.
What was the world before the September 11th attacks? There wasn't as much extensive security as we see today. That's the only way of life the millennial generation knows.
"You're afraid of past experiences and you don't want them to happen again," says James Parker, a 9th grader. "If 9-11 didn't happen people would be less scared of other people."
Lori Mitchell practices at Cerio Counseling Services. She says 9/11 brought out an anxious generation because they have a lot more to be worried about.
"Back before, you can just get on the plane in ten minutes and you could go to your destination, but now it takes hours to get onto planes," says 11th grader Samantha Olcott.
The Horseheads Youth Bureau has come together for 10 years, understanding what happened that changed our country for good. Samantha Olcott has participated in memorial services in the past and says it's important to honor lives lost.
"All the people that were lost, I think that they didn't do anything wrong but the people that did fly into the tower they were bad," says Maria Spencer.
She and her friend Katelyn Pritchard are in 8th grade. Pritchard says she came to the service for "the firefighters who went in there to save [others,] they were heroic going in there."
This is the 11th year the Bureau is putting the program on.
"The first year they said they wanted to do it it was kind of overwhelming to me, to think about the fact that these youth that are very unaware of what happened in our society what brings out these circumstances still want to do something to remember those lost," says Executive Director of the Horseheads Youth Bureau, Bruce May.
The Program Assistant, Carly Cushing says younger students are often overwhelmed learning about what happened 12 years ago.
"We print out all of the names of the victims that day from the Twin Towers and Pentagon from the plane crash in Pennsylvania," says Cushing. "And for them to see them stretched out, I mean they go for pages, being able to see that and realize how many people lost their lives, it hits them pretty hard."
In a survey done by the Center for American Progress, millennials site 9/11 as the most important influence shaping the attitudes and beliefs of their generation. A lot of the kids from the Youth Bureau say they still feel vulnerable today.