September 11, 2001 is a day most will never forget; however, for most students, all they know is what they've seen in history books and videos.

Anderson County Schools is making sure that memory stays alive in their students.

At Grand Oaks Elementary, fifth graders wrote speeches to read during the annual Patriot Day celebration at the school.

"The day of September 11, 2001, a tragedy happened in New York City," Brayden Gavin read. 

"Terrorists used planes to try kill citizens of the USA," Kaitlyn Campbell continued.

"Firefighters, police, and paramedics came in to help," Malik Howard said.

For them, 9/11 will always be a piece of history, never a memory.

"Like it's something that people always need to remember in the USA because it's a day that many people were lost and injured," Maddy Wright explained.

But that didn't stop them from writing those speeches and thanking first responders during the ceremony.

"Patriot Day is a day to remember all the people that helped us," Nate Floyd said.

Down the road at Anderson County High School, Assistant Principal Travis Freeman read the 2001 timeline on the morning announcements, and students played taps.

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"You kind of get a lump in your throat when you start thinking about that," Freeman said.

The kids at the high school may be older, but only a select few were even born when the Twin Towers fell.

Chief Davis is the Naval Science instructor at ACHS. He's a Navy veteran who believes strongly in teaching 9/11.

"I think you need to enlighten them and make sure that they don't forget this," Davis said.

Now, students watch clips from that day in class, the heartache flashing in their eyes.

"Because once we stop doing that they're gonna forget about it and we don't want them to forget about it," Davis explained.

Even though many of the students weren't alive 18 years ago, they understand the need to say "thank you."

"Thanks to police and firefighters we are now safe in all places," fifth-grader Haileigh White read from her speech.

Anderson County Schools has done the Patriot Day program and 9/11 announcements for many years. They said it is something they don't know they will ever stop doing.

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