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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Most adults remember where they were when the 9/11 terror attacks happened.
Two decades later, an entire generation born after 9/11 is entering adulthood. CBS2’s Steve Overmyer spoke with one teen who is sharing his connection.
Liam Enea’s photo album is unassuming. It looks like the kind of album you would give to someone on Valentine’s Day.
Inside are images of tragedy and confusion, but also hope.
“Every New Yorker has a story about what happened on that day — where they were and what channel they were watching — that’s seared into their memory,” Enea told Overmyer.
Complete Coverage: 9/11 Twenty Years Later
Enea is part of a generation born after the attacks. More than a quarter of all Americans are under age 20.
When he discovered the photos taken by his late aunt, he had to share them online.
“The photos are almost cinematic seeing the building against a blue sky background,” he said.
The camera taking the photos was disposable, but the images are irreplaceable.
“If it was today where something like this happened, there would be a million pictures online within minutes because every New Yorker has a phone in their hand,” Enea said.
His great aunt Maryann was on the 27th floor of the closest residential building, where nothing impeded her view.
“I can imagine the type of trauma she was going through watching this happen right before her eyes … Standing on her terrace on a regular morning, and then a plane hits. It’s about as disturbing as it can get,” Enea said.
“Which one stirs your emotions most, do you think?” Overmyer asked.
Enea pointed out a photo showing smoke pouring from the building while debris still falls.
“Because this is after that realization came for everyone that it was deliberate,” he said.
Enea always had a deep interest in that day. Not just because his great aunt was a witness, but because he’s part of a generation that doesn’t know life before.
“I’ve always felt that 9/11 was the inflection point between an old reality and a new reality,” he said. “I long to understand it was like before that.”
We all hope the next generation is better off and these children take our history and make a better life for themselves.
“Only newer generations could have the same feeling, if we’re giving them something that hasn’t been seen before from that day,” said Enea.
Coming of age in a world still wrestling with the impact of that day.
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