The seventh-graders at Belzer Middle School are too young to remember the day the World Trade Center came crashing down, but they are able to watch eyewitness video of exactly what happened in their social studies class.
Their teacher, Evan Bergman, fills in the gaps for them.
"They took off from Boston. They flew south to New York. The first two planes went straight to the World Trade Center," Bergman told his students on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the deadly attacks.
Bergman can personalize the tragedy. His Uncle Mike barely escaped death that day.
"He was actually staying at the Hilton in between the twin towers. He was there on business," Bergman explained. "He had just woken up that morning. He heard the first plane and knew he had to get out, threw on a T-shirt and shorts, grabbed his cellphone and wallet and ran out of the building. He ended up barefoot running in the streets of New York for his life."
Make no mistake, the students are paying attention.
"I start to feel sad to think of all the people who died for no reason, just because of terrorists," said student Jasmine Wang.
Because of those terrorists who took their direction from Osama bin Laden, the world that today's kids live in is significantly different.
"I do feel safer because airports have more security," said Ian Roberts. "They have metal detectors to see if they are carrying bombs or guns."
What was terror-filled breaking news 11 years ago is history for these students today. At 12 years old, Kwiezon Bausley is able to put it into perspective.
When asked where the 9/11 attacks fit into American history, Kwiezon said, "The top,… because it has the most impact."
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