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9/11: Remembering why we said we'd 'never forget'

Teaching a new generation how a tragedy brought us together.

TAMPA, Fla. — We are coming up on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. It's a milestone that really marks a moment of transition from memory to history.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero in New York City is reminding people that we need to teach the new generation the lessons we learned that day. 

The words are written all over a 9/11 memorial in Ybor City in large print for all to see. "We will never forget." 

For those of us that watched what happened that day, it is now our responsibility to teach the tens of millions of younger people why we won't forget because what is burned into our memory is now just a history lesson.

Alice Greenwald is the President and CEO of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum. "It also is an event that taught us 20 years ago how to come together. And we came together as communities, we came together as a nation, as a global community to be there for one another."

Greenwald also says they've started a new initiative to help teach the younger generation the lessons we learned. 

"Whether it's a terrorist event or a pandemic, terrible things do happen. We may not always be able to prevent them," she said. "What we do have control over is how we respond when terrible things happen or more precisely what we call here '9/12'... is a case study in the best of human response to the worst of human behavior."

Anthony Gardner lost his brother on 9/11 and has worked every day since to make sure people never forget. 

"It's so critical that future generations learn about his story and learn about these victims and learn about the way we all collectively responded. That sense of unity that brought us together in the aftermath which is so needed today," he said.

The 9/11 museum and memorial hits on three things in it's Never Forget Campaign: hope, resilience and unity. Words that describe how we felt on Sept. 12, 2001, and that we can feel that way again by teaching a younger generation. 

Find out more at NeverForget.org.

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