9-11-01 baby makes sure his generation doesn't forget
Where we were, what we were doing, who we talked to while the Twin Towers crumbled before our very eyes on live television -- most Americans are keenly aware of the day our lives were forever changed.
But for people born in 2001, they just started their senior year of high school and will graduate next spring.
One Springfield senior has a unique reason why he'll never forget that day, and is on a mission to make sure no one else forgets either.
"The nurses were rushing in and the doctors were rushing in. There was nobody at their stations, we were all in rooms with people watching this horrible thing happen, and we saw them fall," remembered Mary Sekunda. Her hospital stay was unlike most.
"He was due on October 10, and he came on 9-11," she said. "I was actually in the hospital for two weeks. They didn't know if I was gonna make it."
Her baby boy came into the world on one of the darkest days in history.
"I said if one good thing happens this day it will be that my son was born," Mary said.
The events of 9-11-01 didn't only re-shape our world, it also shaped Mary's parenting.
"Don't look at them as the strength, look at them as the weakness. Good triumphs over all, you just have to believe," she said.
Her baby boy was born and raised with a resolve.
"In 7th or 8th grade, I had opened my locker and someone had wrote Josh Sekunda was the worst thing that happened on 9-11, and it really just kind of turned me to the point to where I was able to overcome that and I started to learn more about 9-11," Josh Sekunda said.
He has been on the front lines of making sure his generation never forgets to remember.
"I don't think people take it as seriously as they should in most situations. Our teachers are talking less and less about it in school," Josh said. "I wish there was more awareness especially not just in the Springfield area, but all over."
"I want him to know, and everyone, people aspire to come here and there's a reason for that," Mary said. "People love each other and care for each other-- we'd do anything for each other and that day we woke up and we saw how much we're not doing, how we don't have each others back--but we do now!"
Mary says she has raised Josh, and many of his friends who are around her, to respect authority and those who serve-- and they often thank police officers, firefighters and our veterans.