Posted at: 09/11/2013 1:22 PM
Updated at: 09/11/2013 5:28 PM
By: Dan Bazile / WNYT Staff
ALBANY - Some high school seniors stopped for a moment at the September 11th exhibit at the New York State Museum to recognize the extent of what happened 12 years.
"I know I do. I know people older than me do. But I hope the new generations still recognize the significance," said Kyle Stewart.
It's something they say they'll never forget. They were only in kindergarten at the time and barely understood what was happening.
"I saw towers on the TV, fire, planes crashing into towers. Smoke coming out of the towers. I just saw my mom crying so I hugged her. I didn't know what was going on," said Judsen Hoffman.
"My family had three friends who had worked in the building and they had all died that day," Alisha Gandhi told Newschannel 13. "I could see my grandmother crying."
After 12 years, they have a better grasp of what it all means. The students are from different schools across the Capital Region. They came together as part of New Visions Law and Government Program. They gathered at the museum to share their essays about the tragedy and how it has changed the balance between security and liberty.
"We had the biggest restructuring in government. We've had huge policy, landmark Supreme Court cases all coming out of the events of 9-11," said the Law and Government program's teacher Rich Bader.
For some of the students, it was personal. Gandhi said it's hard to travel when you're treated differently at airport security checkpoints.
"I've traveled many places in the world in the Middle East. It's not easy being filtered at airport security for my ethnicity," Gandhi said.
Gandhi also said she's fine with losing some liberty as long as it keeps us safe. But she said it's a discussion worth having as we remember the 9/11 victims.
"You think about all those people who gave their lives to save others. Going back to an airport search is much better than having something like that happen again," Gandhi said.
"I just believe that's one of the most important things we can get out of this is whether more freedom, more security and find a balance in between," Hoffman added.