A new generation of patriots remember 9-11

A new generation of patriots in the Tri-State remember 9-11

MILFORD, OH (FOX19) - September 11 has become a day of remembrance for Americans. With each passing year, however, it becomes more difficult to find a student who remembers where they were on September 11, 2001.

For many,  their knowledge of that day does not come from personal experiences, but from textbooks.

Cody Cooper is in the JROTC program at Live Oaks in Milford. Cooper helped put the flag out front at half-staff. He was just four-years-old when the towers fell.

"[I was] probably at my parents' house just going through a normal day," Cooper thought back.

Cooper says he has no specific memories of the event as a child. His fellow JROTC student leader Mikkaila Campbell recalls a little more about that day.

"I do remember that I was like seven and I was in class and I remember my teachers having a fit and I didn't know what was going on," she said.

"They know about it but as far as remembering it… some do," JROTC instructor First Sergeant Ellis Doyle told FOX19. "Some will tell you they remember exactly what they were doing that day, but for the most part I don't think they do."

Doyle says the reality was very different for the students in his class 11 years ago.

"[I] turned the news on right there with the kids and as the day progressed that was the topic of the day," he recalled.

"It would probably have affected them even more so," Campbell said of Doyle's former students. "They would know what was going on and probably would strike a chord saying 'Hey, enlist'."

"A lot of people were angry with the situation and they did want to serve their country," SSGT Kenneth Jacob said.

Jacob, now a Marine recruiter, was in boot camp during the attacks. He says enlistments went up not long after, but says reasons for joining up these days are different.

"I don't hear it as often," Jacob said. "A lot of people from this area specifically just want to serve their country. It might be due to family heritage."

"The young people that join, they don't really think of [9/11] because they don't remember it probably that much," Cooper acknowledged.

That doesn't mean patriotism is lost, however. Cooper is looking at joining the Army or Air Force.  Campbell is considering the National Guard or Reserves. While 9/11 may not be their reason for joining, recruiters still make it a point to pass on the legacy of those that have served before them.

"We want to show the importance, the significance why we still do what we do," SSGT Jacob said. "And why we're defending our country right now so that that doesn't happen again."

Jacob says enlistment numbers have gone down in recent years, but he points to a decreased need more than a decreased interest for that drop.

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved.