Younger Generation Remembers September 11

Photo by Amanda Smolinski

It has been more than a decade, and the younger generation’s remembrances vary as they recall the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Jenna Wahl, a freshman student at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, says that she cannot remember the day at all. Her first remembrance of that day was learning about it during her sophomore year in high school. Her teacher played a video to make Wahl and her classmates aware of the significance of that day in history.

Wahl was in complete shock.

Catiglenn Northcott, 18, from Elroy, Wis., and Wahl, 18, from Tinley Park, Ill., were both in the eighth grade on Sept. 11, 2001. Both freshman students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, they met in their English lecture and both live in the dorms on campus. On Sept. 11, 2013, they found themselves both sitting together in the campus union during a break and reminiscing about their experiences of that day 12 years ago.

“I feel like I missed something, every time I watch it, I feel like it just happened,” said Wahl.

When Wahl goes back home to Tinley Park for visits, she is reminded of that day when she sees the 9/11 Beanie Baby that her grandma gave her.

“I don’t remember getting the beanie baby, or the significance of it being a tribute at the time, but I know my grandma must have felt it was important.”

To this day, Wahl still doesn’t know what to think of the historical event, as if it was a page in history.

“I don’t know what to feel, I’m numb,” she added.

As the years go by, a whole generation wasn’t even born yet, others were like Northcott and Wahl, although they remember, the context wasn’t there yet, and others remember it vividly.

Northcott remembers going on a hallway break when she was in the eight grade. As she walked through the hallways, she remembered her peers talking about what they saw on the televisions in their class.

“I remember being scared, but mostly because everyone around me was scared,” said Northcott.

When the break was over, she returned back to her classroom, and saw the shift of her teacher’s emotions. Her teacher seemed shaken up, on edge, and then explained to her and her classmates the significance of what just happened in New York City that day on Sept. 11, 2001.

The first time Northcott saw the fall of the towers on television was when she got home from school that day in the small railroad town of Elroy.

“When I went home my mom and grandma talked to me about what happened and I felt like we were in danger here, but they assured me we would be okay.”

Like Wahl, the significance of Sept. 11th to Northcott has evolved since middle school.