'It hit us really hard': post 9/11 babies reflect on learning about national tragedy
Many of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when the first plane hit the world trade center on September 11, 2001. But that's not the case for today's high school seniors - the start of the first generation of those born after 9/11.
More than 3,000 lives were lost on 9/11. Their names are on display in the lobby of Sissonville High School. Students may not remember that day, but they'll never forget.
"It was a tragedy - for not only the U.S. but the entire world," said Daelen Boggs, president of the Class of 2019.
Many of Boggs' peers were not even born yet, or, like him, just a few months old on that fateful day.
"I don't remember anything until we learned about it in sixth grade. It hit us really hard when we started learning about it," said senior Jenna Thomas.
"Someone once said, if you don't remember your history, you're doomed to repeat it. It's vital that we, as adults give our kids an honest recap of what happened," said Master Gunnery Sergeant Tony Lester, a Marine Corps JROTC instructor.
Tuesday morning, it was a sea of camouflage outside the high school: 130 JROTC students paying their respects.
"Whenever you think that the youth of America is kind of lost, they come around these kids, and they prove you wrong," said Sergeant Major Brandon Bragg, a Marine Corps JROTC instructor.
These kids represent a generation inspired by those who have fought on the front lines.
"Dads are missing their sons and daughters' first games, first steps, first words," said senior Kaitlyn McClung.
"I was never prouder to be an American than I was on September 12, 2001. You couldn't go anywhere without seeing an American flag," Bragg said. "There's no way that anyone would have ever dared to kneel to the national anthem in the weeks and months following September 11. We need to keep it fresh in everyone's minds."