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Students honor local heroes as they learn about what happened on 9/11

Today's youth didn’t see the events unfold on TV screens, but they're learning about 9/11 and the significance of our first responders.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — While many can recall the minute they learned about the September 11 attack, our youth weren’t born yet.

They’re learning about its significance and honoring first responders.

RELATED: 18 years later, America vows to 'never forget' 9/11

Every year since 2002, First Assembly North Little Rock holds a Heroes Luncheon for First Responders on September 11.

“We chose to remember that day, certainly with sadness, but also celebration of people who serve us every day,” Pastor Rod Loy said.

For the first time, this year students got involved.

“We have to understand that they risk their lives every day for us,” North Little Rock Middle School 8th-grader Bethany Jumper said.

Students from Indian Hills Elementary and North Little Rock Middle School greeted first responders with cheers, signs, and hugs.

“Sometimes they just need to be reminded that we’re grateful and thankful for all they do,” Jumper said.

They said it’s important to honor those who run toward danger and remember the civilians who tragically died 18 years ago.  

“About every year, like on 9/11, our teachers talk about what it was and how it changed our U.S.,” Jumper said.

They didn’t see the events unfold on TV screens, but it’s still something that’s impacted their lives today.

“It was such a turning point in our U.S. history and we changed a lot of what we do based on that day,” Jumper said.

First responders are glad the next generation won’t forget.

“I’ve really enjoyed it. You hear that? It’s awesome,” Pulaski County Sheriff Eric Higgins said.

“There’s a lot of these kids now that have no idea, and you know, came along after that,” NLR Police Chaplain David Barnes said.

As the students see each smiling face, they learn who answers the call for help.

RELATED: Firefighter who died on 9/11 identified almost 18 years later

“It’s very important to remember what this country is really about and what we have to do to fight for our freedoms that we have. To stand up to those injustices that are done against us. And as far as the first responders, teaching them how important it is and how grateful we should be for those that serve to make our lives better,” Barnes said.