VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Sara Young, like millions of Americans, remembers exactly where she was on September 11th, 2001.
The U.S. Navy Veteran recalls the events of the day with ease– but on Monday, she addressed a group of college students who were too young to have memories of the terrorist attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives.
“It’s so engrained in my memory, I remember that day so well, and it is difficult to realize this generation doesn’t think about it that way. It’s not on their radar, they don’t think about those terrorists attacks the same way that we do,” she said.
Young spoke to the group as part of the annual flag ceremony at Vincennes University to remember those who died 22 years ago. The students planted 3,000 flags– and Young said she hoped they realized what each one symbolized.
“That flag represents a person, a human being that used to walk, and they just got up and went to work, and next thing, their family’s lives have changed forever,” she said.
Louis J. Caprino Jr., the head of the homeland security department at VU, said he thinks this event is important as more and more students with no recollection of the attacks come through his classroom.
“It’s sort of challenging to make them realize the importance and how grave that event was,” he said. “It’s foreign to them, frankly. Today I met with my third-year homeland security class and we did a review of the 9/11 attacks. We talked about the 19 hijackers and the way that that single event changed our world, not domestically and internationally.”
The impact still of that day still resonates– even with the younger students. Third-year homeland security major Alli Lininger said she’s heard her family’s stories from 9/11– and they were one of her main motivations to pursue this career field.
“I would rather be not standing on the sidelines, I’d rather be in there and helping people and making sure they are getting the help that they need, rather than not being involved at all,” Lininger said.
Young hopes to see these events continue– so we never forget those we lost.
“This is just indicative of the fact that life does go on,” she said. “Here we are 22 years later, and people are still remembering it and keeping it in the minds of public so we can remember those who died unnecessarily,”