MT. VERNON — Eighteen years ago, America and the world changed forever.
Nineteen men hi-jacked four U.S. commercial jets — two flew into the World Trade Center, one crashed into the Pentagon, and one crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
Both World Trade Center towers collapsed.
A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Now, in 2019 — 18 years after those attacks — most kids have only learned about 9/11 in school. They weren't born in 2001 and didn't live through that time.
RTV6 went to Mt. Vernon High School to see how students there are learning about Sept. 11, 2001.
"I was a sophomore in college when this happened," Sarah Tarrell, Mt. Vernon High School government teacher, said. "Right around the time when the towers are hit, and when I got off the bus, there was nobody on campus. And that is not how IU Bloomington is at 9:30 in the morning."
"It was a really powerful experience," Tarrell said. "I can actually see that day."
For many students today, they were not alive for the terror attack on the nation. This has made teachers have to re-think how they approach this subject in class — making it less of another history lesson and more of a shared and relevant experience.
"Have students go through that process of having to think about how did it impact people that they do know and then how does it even impact them today," Casey Dodd, Principal of Mt. Vernon High School, said.
Tarrell assigned her AP government class students an assignment regarding 9/11. It was to interview their parents about their memories of the tragic day. It's a lesson of holding value in our everyday heroes.
"I feel like I personally don't think about it a lot because I don't have anyone that was affected by it," Alexis Lane, Mt. Vernon High School student, said. "But I think that is why we have remembrances and like memorials for people like that so we don't forget about what happened."
It's a lesson of strength after a disaster and the power of unity in a nation.
"Nationalism is a big thing, especially after 9/11, and that we have all come together despite our political differences," Joe Moore, a Mt. Vernon High School student, said. "In history, we learn that we don't want to forget something because it could happen again."