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Remembering 9/11 through the eyes of students

Two people share how they remember the events of September 11, 2001, as 5th grade students.

CLEVELAND — “Now we’re at 20 years. You still feel it. You still get the chills. It still hits home.” 

Those are the words of 30-year-old Olivia Tony. She was in the 5th grade during the time of September 11 attacks and recalls the moment the Twin Towers were hit.

"You don't want to comprehend that someone did this to your country on purpose," she said. "That's hard to take in."

Since then, 9/11 is a day we will never forget.

Olivia's husband, Nick, was also in the 5th grade at the time of the attacks.

“We were sitting at a desk just like this, and I remember we had a little TV in the corner of our room," Nick said. "I can remember my teacher turning on that TV and I can remember seeing the World Trade Center."

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“I remember thinking some people just lost their parents here, and I couldn’t understand why or who would do something like this. I was hoping it was an accident," Olivia said.

But it wasn’t’ an accident. 2,996 people lost their lives in the attack, forcing Americans to come together in ways many could not imagine.

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“Just seeing the American flag flying and our country come together, I think COVID is similar it’s a devastating situation just like 9/11 but seeing how people respond and come together as a country or as a group of people it’s amazing," Nick said.

Acts of heroism in a time of need left a lasting impression that changed the way we think each day.

"It's how we can come together as a people and as a country to handle these times of adversity," Nick said. "When things get tough, we want to rely on each other."