MADISON, AL (WAFF) - There's an entire generation of Americans who weren't old enough to understand what happened on 9-11.
The job of helping them understand falls on our educators.
There was a class at Bob Jones High.
The students were just 6 or 7 years old a decade ago.
Only in recent years have they begun to realize the enormity of September 11th.
"I sat there on the couch, and I turned on the TV, and I just cried," said Michael Hoyle, a history teacher at Bob Jones High.
That is a reaction millions shared on September 11th, 2001, one of the most devastating tragedies in recent history.
It's something Hoyle is making sure his students mark... and never forget.
"You can know all of the events, you can know the whole timeline, the first plane hit here and the second plane hit here, but it's a people story. It's about humanity and when the chips are down, humanity has a way of getting together and working together to make things right, and I think that's exactly what happened on 9-11," said Hoyle.
Hoyle gives this lesson every year near the anniversary of the attacks.
And it's clear his students understand the message.
"I'm the last generation to see it, remember it, maybe understand it. At that age, I really didn't understand it that much, but as I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate what our soldiers do for us," said Zayn Sharadge, a senior at Bob Jones High.
"To think about people who had to think about what way to die, and to think about the families that had to lose their loved ones because of something like this, it was just awful," said junior at Bob Jones, Cameron McLain.
"I think it's important that you keep these memories alive because there were people who sacrificed their lives to save other people and people who died for unjust causes. I think it's out of respect for them, I think, that we should keep their memory alive," said Nick Sullivan, also a junior at Bob Jones High.
…A lesson Hoyle hopes will stay with these students long after they leave his classroom.