BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Wednesday marked 18 years since 9/11... and with that, this fall marks the first freshmen class of college students born since the attacks.
September 11, 2019 was a typical day on the UC Berkeley campus. Nothing exceptional, until we look at it through the prism of history.
Had we looked 18 years into the future 18 years ago, these are the children of that day, all grown up.
"What do you remember that day?" I asked Elle Henrickson.
"I don't remember anything."
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"Nothing," said Dean Wryzkowsi.
"What did you understand then?" I asked Omotara Oloye.
"Something bad had happened because my mom came home from work."
"When were you first aware of it?" we asked Dean Wryzkowski.
"Hard to remember. Maybe fourth or sixth grade."
They are the kids born on the cusp of a post-9/11 world who never thought twice about it.
For them, this country has always been at war.
Long lines at the TSA? Always been there. Surveillance cameras? A constant. Social media? Their lifeblood.
In 2001, Facebook was still three years away.
"Can you imagine Trump on Twitter on 9/11?" asked Elle Henrickson.
"Do you want to?" we queried.
"Oh my goodness!"
"Is there any difference to you between World War II and September 11?" I asked Nikan Oshideri, who had not even been born yet.
"Honestly, not too much of a difference."
We heard that, a lot.
"You make it sound like an abstract," I suggested to Dean Wryzkowski.
"And to people like me, it is."
"I can't relate,' Elle Henrickson told us. "As much as I would like to feel the emotional connection, I only see the effect."
In her case, something that runs deeper than flags at half-staff.
Something beyond this post 9/11 world they inherited and take for granted, because it's all they know.
"What are you missing by not remembering?" I asked Dean Wryzkowski
"I'm missing all the things I don't even know I'm missing."
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