I am teaching a short course on 9/11.
I wanted to teach this course when I realized that next year's first-year students were in kindergarten in 2001. Soon the Centre student body will have no memory of the 9/11 attack, while the grownups around them will continue to refer to the events as if they happened yesterday.
The juniors and seniors I am teaching this term were in third or fourth grade at the time. They do remember, though mostly they remember the commotion among the adults and in their school. But they all saw the pictures of the burning towers of the World Trade Center that day.
The surprising thing I learned from teaching them is that they did not know that the twin towers were a famous landmark before 9/11. They asked me if, when we heard that the World Trade Center had been hit by airplanes, could most people picture what those buildings looked like?
For young adults today - and likely the whole next generation - their main image of the World Trade Center is of the twin towers on fire, and then collapsing into rubble.