Children of 9/11 want to focus on the future

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Children of 9/11 Want to Focus on the Future

Some children learned about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, from parents or teachers. Others saw it unfold on TV. But for about 3,000 children, it was the day their parent never came home. The media named them the "children of 9/11."

"This just in — you are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. That is the World Trade Center and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers," a CNN reporter said.

SEE MORE 9/11 SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health problems linger 14 years after 9/11

Fourteen years later, the skyline in New York City looks different, hearts are healing and some of those children are now young adults. And many of them want to focus on the future.

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9/11/2001: Children of Sept 11 Victims
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Children of 9/11 want to focus on the future
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THE VIEW - A tribute to the tenth anniversary of 9/11 airs on 'THE VIEW,' on FRIDAY, SEPT. 9 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. Barbara Walters and Elisabeth Hasselbeck talk to children of 9/11. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)ELISABETH HASSELBECK, BARBARA WALTERS, ROBYN HIGLEY, JAKE MELTZER, MARIE CLYNE
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Alicia Bergstein (C) comforts her children Devin Bergstein, left, and Adrianna Bergstein while visiting the National 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City. Daniel Bergstein, Alicia husband and the childrens' father, was killed on 9/11. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images)
JACKSON HEIGHTS, NEW YORK--Sept. 5, 2011--Kimberly Ramsaroop, 10, left, and Tiffany Ramsaroop, 18, right, lost their father, Vishnoo Ramsaroop in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. He was a maintenance worker at the World Trade Center. They live with their mother Sita Ramsaroop in Jackson Heights, New York. The family was given a flag of many of those who died on 9/11, including their father, which hangs in one of the family bedrooms. Vishnoop had several other children, including Ashley Ramsaroop, now 15, (not shown). (Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ - AUGUST 19: *** EXCLUSIVE *** Teresa Cunningham (R) with her son Liam (L) photographed at Michael Cunningham's grave stone on August 19, 2011 in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. Just 13 days after he was born little Liam Cunningham's British dad was killed in the 9/11 attacks. A decade on and Liam has just celebrated his 10th birthday - less than two weeks before today's 10-year anniversary of the terrorist atrocity that shook the world. Even though Liam has no memories of his father, he said: 'Daddy will always be my hero. But I wish I could talk to him sometimes. We never even knew each other.' Mum Teresa, 45, still lives with the pain of missing two calls her beloved husband made after the first plane struck the North Tower of the Word Trade Centre in New York. She didn't turn on the family's TV for three months after watching the horror unfold from her living room in picturesque Princeton Junction, New Jersey. Brit Michael, a West Ham United fan from Illford, Essex, worked on a trading desk for firm Euro Brokers - high on the 83rd floor of the South Tower. Tragically he returned to work from his paternity leave a few days early after Liam's birth because the busy company needed him. When US Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden in May, Teresa tried to explain things to only child Liam in a way he would understand. She said it was the first time he understood that a person was responsible for his father's death. (Photo by Laurentiu Garofeanu / Barcroft U / Getty Images)
Madeline Bergin with her children, Shannon, 16 (far left), John Jr., 19 , and Katie, 21, (middle), are photographed in front of a street sign near their Staten Island home on July 9, 2011. This street sign honors her firefighter husband, John Bergin. Bergin was one of eleven firefighters from the Rescue 5 firehouse of Staten Island killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Ten years after 9/11 Madeline recalled in the summer of 2011, 'The past 10 years have been a roller coaster. A lot of ups and downs and we made a lot of progress. My children are doing 100% better than they were back then. I guess all of us are, but for us it will never really be over. It's an ongoing struggle, an ongoing battle. It's always there.' (Photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Michelle Haskett-Godbee with her children Imini, 11, and Kai, 8, who lost their father during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, stand during the 7th annual 9/11 memorial ceremony at Zuccotti Park September 11, 2008 in New York City. Family and friends of the victims, heads of government and others gathered at the annual ceremony to remember the attacks that killed more than 2,700 people with the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Ashley Fodor, daughter of firefighter Edward Kilduff who died on September 11, 2001, speaks during a memorial ceremony to honor New York firefighters that were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center at St Patrick's Cathedral on September 10, 2011 in New York City. 343 firefighters were killed in the 9/11 attacks. New York City and the nation are preparing for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan which resulted in the deaths of 2,753 people at the World Trade Center. (Photo by Brian Snyder-Pool/Getty Images)
Jonathan Santos, 9, left, holds a "Choodle," a breed of Chihuahua combined with poodle, as he talks with Bill Berloni, Thursday, April 27, 2006, on the roof of the Humane Society of New York, during "Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day." Santos is a member of Tuesday's Child, a group for children who lost parents in the Sept. 11th attacks. The group had several programs for children left without a parent in the wake of the terroritst attacks. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Nine-year-old August Larsen makes a crayon rubbing of his father's name where it appears on the bronze plaques that surround the edges of the 9/11 Memorial pool during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Julie Jalbert-Pitt (L) who lost her father, Robert Jalbert on 9/11, holds her daugher Campbell Pitt, 8 months, next to the name of her father during tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site September 11, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images)
BOSTON - AUGUST 25: Stephanie Holland, right, lost her mother Cora on 9/11. She and her children, Amelia Brodney, 10, and Drew Brodney,12, came to the Garden of Remembrance memorial at the Public Garden to re-etch the name of Stephanie's mother. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HINSDALE - AUGUST 17: The Roy siblings in a spontaneous hug with a staffer, left. Timmy, 13, Brittney, 17, and Caitlin, in rear. The three are from New York and have been coming to camp since losing their dad, a New York City police officer, on Sept. 11. Now the older two girls work as counselors. Hugs and support are common for campers at America's camp, a week long camp for children whose parents died in 9/11, in its tenth and final year. (Photo by Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: 13-year-old Peter Negron, who lost his father Peter Negron in the terrorist attacks, reads the Poem 'Stars' during the WTC Memorial Service at the World Trade Center Site September 11, 2003 in New York City. A commemoration ceremony was held and the names of the nearly 2,800 victims were read by 200 surviving children and family members at ground zero. (Photo by Luiz C. Ribeiro-Pool/Getty Images)
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Gina DiFazio was 10 years old when she lost her dad in the attack on the World Trade Center. She told NJ.com, "People were so worried about it defining us as human beings. There are so many more things I've done since then."

Some of the 300 kindergartners who lost parents to the terrorist attacks are now spread out on college campuses across the nation.

SEE MORE 9/11 SPECIAL COVERAGE: How the New York City skyline has changed ​

About 100 of them are starting college with full scholarships from The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, one of multiple financial aid programs founded to support children of 9/11 victims.

Laura Williamson is one of those scholarship recipients. She embarked on a new journey at the University of Tampa in 2014. Her father, a New York police detective, died of pancreatic cancer in 2007, and she says his illness was caused by his work at ground zero after the attacks.

Williamson told The New York Times, "I'm never going to forget what happened, but especially being in Florida now, a new environment, and meeting all new people, it's a new start."


See more special coverage of the 14th anniversary of 9/11:
14 iconic images of 9/11
Love stories of 9/11 show resilience in the face of grief ​
Woman turns tragic 9/11 loss into life of philanthropy

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