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9/11 Museum Leverages Social Media To Make Sure Younger Generations Don't Forget

This weekend marks two decades since 9/11, the deadliest terror attack on American soil. It's a day many have said they will never forget, but as time passes, there are generations who were too young (or not yet born) to know what happened.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in encouraging the use of social media to bridge that gap. Together with partners, including the State University of New York or SUNY system, it's calling on people to post images of the sky this 20th anniversary in honor of the clear view that occurred on that day two decades ago.

Megan Jones, vice president of education programs at the 9/11 memorial, said the simple act can help ensure all remember the lessons of that day and honor the victims that perished.

“We call it 9/12, the sort of after; people coming together in the aftermath of tragedy to support one another, to foster empathy, compassion, and also commemoration to remember those who were killed," Jones said in an interview with WAER. "That it wasn't just nearly 3,000 people, but they were individuals that lived beautiful lives and had families and friends.”

That includes the father of Yusuf Shajahan, who saw his dad for the last time when he dropped him off at school that September morning in 2001. The Rockland County resident said social media, especially Facebook, helped him find a sense of community after the loss.

“[It’s] a way to share the photos of our loved ones and their stories," Shajahan said. "This impact just brings us a lot closer because we share such a significant day not with just one individual, but with many Americans, because everyone's affected differently — whether there were survivors or those that perish, or even the children such as myself.”

He said he hopes the 9/11 memorial's "Remember the Sky" campaign can help younger generations remember those who were killed, like his father. The best way is “to keep the story alive and try to draw empathy, especially on this on this day," Shajahan said.

Social media users can participate by posting a photo of the sky — gloomy or clear — on Instagram and add #NeverForget911 and @911memorial.