Too young to remember: UAlbany students reflect on 9/11

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Many college students at the University of Albany weren’t even born when the terrorists attacked on 9/11, yet they are still impacted by the events of the day.

“I was in third grade,” said Erika Mayner 

“I was in high school back then in Indonesia,” said Hanum Tyahieta. 

“I was born in 2001, the year 9/11 happened,” said Brandon Grant.

The tragedy on 9/11 was unforgettable, even for those UAlbany students who were not old enough to have watched it unfold.

“I remember the airplanes and the explosions. It’s still vivid even though it was 20 years go,” said Tyahieta.

“Seeing the images of planes crashing at that age I really didn’t understand what was going on,” said Mayner.

The stories told on September 11, 2001 from students’ parents and loved ones have been passed on from generation to generation.

“My dad was delivering newspapers to a house that was somewhere near New York City. He looked up and all he saw was smoke,” said Cameron Wright. 

“My parents were frantic, and they were busy calling our relatives,” said Tyahieta. 

“My mom actually worked in New York City the day it happened. She was telling me stories about how horrific the events were,” said Grant. 

Students also remember more than the stories of those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center.

“My middle name is actually named after someone who was actually in the building at the time,” said Jacob Cooke.

Cooke was given a middle name after a man who helped others escape the World Trade Center while sacrificing his own life.

“He didn’t make it out alive unfortunately, but he’s going to be remembered from his parents, and forever for all the things that he did,” said Cooke. 

Two decades later the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to grapple the aftermath of 9/11. Erika Mayner says over the years one thing stands out.

“I remember the unity and especially during this time when we are going through a pandemic, we really just need that unity,” said Mayner.

Twenty years later we remember and honor those who responded.

“It will just never be erased in American history,” said Wright. 

“The number of lives lost; we mourn for them every single day,” said Grant.

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