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Younger generations learn as older generations reflect on 9/11

Sep 12, 2023, 10:35 AM | Updated: 10:39 am

SANDY, Utah — As Utahns marked 22 years since 9/11, the day was about learning in addition to reflecting, as many younger people have no direct memories of the 9/11 attacks.

Hundreds converged Monday on the Sandy Healing Field, 10000 South Centennial Parkway, to pay their respects with nearly 3,000 flags placed to represent the 9/11 victims.

Some people as old as their mid-20s said they had no first-hand recollection of the events of that September day in 2001 because they were simply too young at the time.

Teenagers said they learned about it from their parents and in school.

“Two planes hit the twin towers and that’s basically all I knew,” 14-year-old Bryson Moon, who was visiting the field with his family said.

Another teen, 15-year-old Connor Miller, said other teens had a tougher time relating because of how long ago the terror attacks happened.

“I think some people my age just aren’t really affected by it because they weren’t alive back then,” said 15-year-old Connor Miller, who was visiting the field with his family. “It’s still sad to think about (it).”

Others brought their children Monday afternoon in hopes of educating them on the events.

“We went through and witnessed this tragedy first-hand, we saw the impact on the world and what it did to bring our nation together during that time as well,” Michelle Young said. “For them to understand how tragic that was and having all of these flags around I think really gives a good idea of the number of lives.”

Mallory Scott said she recognized her experience of the day would always be different from her children and she hoped to impart the importance of remembering.

“Sometimes I think about it like how I viewed World War II—it was kind of this mythical time and it just seemed so other-world,” Scott said. “That’s probably how my kids view this now is that to try and fathom something so horrific that happened, whereas I still remember that day. I remember exactly where I was standing, how that day played out—even though I didn’t have anybody affected directly.”

Heath Fleshner grew emotional as he recalled his memories of 9/11 and underscored the importance of younger generations learning about it, remembering it, and honoring those who died.

“I think this is one that can’t be forgotten,” Fleshner said. “I don’t think we can let that happen.”

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Younger generations learn as older generations reflect on 9/11