9/11 Memories Fade as Generations Change

Purdue University History Professor Caroline Janney says Americans' memories of 9/11 will continue to shift as time passes and individuals' memories will become less personal and more collective as a nation. (WPIX-TV image)

Purdue University History Professor Caroline Janney says Americans' memories of 9/11 will continue to shift as time passes and individuals' memories will become less personal and more collective as a nation. (WPIX-TV image)

As America marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there are fewer of us who remember the horrific events of that day firsthand. By some estimates, nearly one out of five people in the U-S have birthdays after the attacks of September 11, 2001. That means they didn’t hear or see the planes crashing into the World Trade Center buildings, the towers collapsing or people running for their lives. They didn’t hear the sounds of the emergency beacons chirping from within the pile of rubble, each indicating a dead firefighter or police officer. Another estimate says more than 25% of the country was 6-years-old or under (or had not been born yet). They may have faint memories of hearing adults talking about 9/11 or they might’ve seen something on TV but they couldn’t really comprehend what had happened. So how do we make sure Americans remember 9/11? Purdue University History Professor Caroline Janney may have some answers and advice and she talked with WGN’s Steve Grzanich.

 

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