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9/11 taught in high school classrooms to students who have no memory of the attacks

Seniors at Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield, Calif., learn about 9/11 on the 16th anniversary of the attacks. Most seniors were only a year old at the time. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

It's been 16 years since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

While that date is unforgettable for many, schools are now filled with students who were too young to remember the attacks.

On the anniversary of 9/11, a Garces Memorial High School teacher wanted to make sure his students understood the significance of it.

"We're watching a remembering 9/11 video," said Brian Dignan, a U.S. government teacher. "It's a George Bush interview talking about his actions on the day of 9/11 and a couple of days following 9/11."

Dignan said he remembers that fateful day vividly. He was driving in the car and listening to the radio when the news hit.

"It was a horrific, terrible attack," he said. "I was just listening to the radio, and it came on the radio, and I was like, 'What!?' A building has been hit, and another World Trade Center got hit."

Dignan said 9/11 has personally impacted him, but when looking around the classroom he can tell it's probably more distant for most students.

"It's not as close and personal to them," he said. "The more real the government class can be for students, the better it is."

He said he hopes by watching the 9/11 video and discussing the events, it will become more personal for his students.

"As my generation gets older, it will be a less personal experience for those kids, but being the only attack on our homeland, I think it will maintain significance for a long time and not let people take for granted our freedoms and our liberties in this country," he said.

Austin Giggy said although he does not remember 9/11, his mother has told him stories.

"She has stories of the day. She saw it on TV and remembers being devastated that day," Giggy said.

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