One of the most important tasks Alice Greenwald has as president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is to educate and inspire a younger generation and make sure the heroism and sacrifices made that day in 2001 are never forgotten.
"If you think about 20 years, it is the span of a generation and there are tens of millions of young people, college age and younger, who were born after 2001. [Others] were toddlers, they were infants when 9/11 happened," she said.
"For those of us who witnessed 9/11 20 years ago, it's seared into our consciousness. We cannot ever not remember what our eyes saw. But for this generation, it's history to be learned," Greenwald told Reuters.
Ahead of this year's anniversary, the Museum and Memorial launched a new campaign and fundraiser called The Never Forget Fund, which will support educational initiatives to teach young people about the attack and the global aftermath.
Greenwald said the museum – located in lower Manhattan, close to where the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001 after being struck by two planes hijacked by Islamic militants – offers an important lesson to the younger generation about overcoming extraordinary hardship.
"This memorial, this museum tells a story about the best of human nature in response to the worst. And we need to remind this generation that they have the capacity for unity, for hope and for resilience when faced with challenges that you couldn't imagine and aren't yet prepared to deal with."
She added, "But you will rise to the occasion and if you come together, you will meet adversity and prevail."
"This was a seminal event in American and global history that happened here," said Greenwald. "And we can't renege on our promise of two decades ago. We will never forget." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: 9/11, USA, Memorial, Museum, Human Interest, Anniversary