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Too young to understand, 'Generation 9/11' embraces media for meaning

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“The sheer volume” of media has been very helpful, he says. “It has filled in details and fleshed out the day and its meaning so much more for me and my friends.”

This is an extremely media-savvy generation, points out Chris Caruso, executive director of generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light Network, a nonprofit service organization. “They are extremely connected globally,” and more engaged in events all over the planet than any other generation in history, he says.

Chloe Miller, a sophomore at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, says she and her mother watched a documentary on TLC this past week. “I was shocked,” she says, adding that this was the first time she’d seen actual footage of the towers being hit. “I just didn’t understand before how horrible it really must have been and how much it hit home with people all over the country,” she says.

Her mother, Nathalie Miller, points out that she and her husband made a special effort to shield Chloe and her younger brother, Noah, at the time. “I was traumatized watching the buildings fall and all the people looking for loved ones,” she says. “I didn’t want Chloe to have that imagery in her mind and have bad dreams.”

Others were not shielded from the immediate coverage, but may have been too young to understand the historical significance of the unfolding events.

High school senior Lizi Vidar, who attends the North Hollywood High School's Zoo Magnet Center in Los Angeles, says her second-grade teacher turned on the classroom TV on the morning of 9/11, so she witnessed the coverage firsthand. But, she says, it really didn't sink in at the time.

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