WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) -- Tuesday marks eleven years since terrorists killed thousands of people in coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 153 people with Connecticut ties died on 9/11, and Monday night the state's annual memorial service was held in Westport.
Eleven years hasn't diminished the pain or the importance. A class from the Classic Studies Academy School in Bridgeport went to Sherwood Island State Park in Westport to take part in Connecticut's annual memorial service for September 11th, because even though the kids were not alive when the terrorists attacked, their parents believe they need to know.
"My wife and I have sat them down and explained in detail, you know, what happened on that day and the aftermath," said Mustafa Salahuddin, of Bridgeport.
Salahuddin says it's particularly important to him because he is Muslim. He's born and bred in America, but in the panic and fear following that day he was made to feel like an outsider. "For a long time, I think all Muslims have, because at first, you know, with the stereotyping and the lack of knowing who was who," he said.
He has tried to use that experience to teach the next generation.
"This is a good time to teach her about the difference between a practicing Muslim and a fanatic," he said.
His daughter Deja took it all in; the names, the place, the people effected.
"Feel very sad for them and hope and just wish that they were still alive and that there were still with them," said Deja.
Her teacher handed out pins. Each one with the name of one of the 153 victims from Connecticut.
"It was from the family whose son lost his life in the twin towers and he thought it was very respectful to wear it so they know that we respect him and that to remember him always," Deja said.
So as the families filed around the memorial, the children followed. It was a dark day more than a decade ago, and is still fresh in the minds of loved ones.
September 11th isn't easy to remember, but it is important to remember for the families of the victims and Salahuddin says, for Americans of all backgrounds. "As Muslims, it's our duty to correct those things and to make sure our kids are part of this as well as every American because we were effected by it as well."
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