New Jersey Remembers 9/11 [AUDIO/VIDEO]
It's been exactly 11 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks stunned America and the world.
Nineteen Islamic militant extremists carried out suicide attacks against U.S. targets, including the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, and a total of three thousand people were killed.
Anthony Gardner, who lost his brother Harvey in the 9/11 attacks, says, "The most important thing is that people spend some portion of their day reflecting on what happened, and hopefully participating in some way to perpetuate the memory of the victims - and honor the victims, perhaps even through an act of service."
"Certainly it was the worst of humanity, but it was also the best. We saw the best of humanity in the way that every day people responded to the attacks…We hope that we don't lose that - and continue to build on that and continue to inspire…We're try to connect people now - young people that weren't even alive on September 11th, 2001, to this event. It's crucial to connect them on an emotional level to what happened - hopefully they'll find inspiration in these stories of resilience and survival and compassion."
Gardner adds beyond the 700 New Jerseyans who lost their lives that fateful day, "there were thousands who survived, thousands who responded and served as recovery workers - volunteer to feed the rescue workers or search the piles."
His group, the September 11th Education Trust, has created an exhibit at the State museum in Trenton
"Reflections and memories of that day…and we've created a learning program for schools statewide - to bring the exhibit into classrooms - so we've created videos and lesson plans for middle and high school students across the state."
He says his group can't answer the question why did this happen.
"But what we can do is give them a sense of what happened that day, and help them connect to it through these objects through the oral histories, through these stories…One of the greatest lessons from 9/11 is the civic responses to 9/11, and the way that people - ordinary people stood up and united, and helped each other…Students must understand the threats that continue - global terrorism and homeland security issues - are real, and the traveling exhibit will hopefully give students an understanding of what we experienced, and then from that hopefully inspire them to be engaged and active citizens."