Seventeen years ago Mackenzie Shrum and Laviticus Weir were photographed by The Lebanon Democrat for their first birthday, on the one year anniversary of Sept. 11.
This year, Shrum and Weir, who were born in Lebanon on the morning of the terrorist attacks, are celebrating their 18th birthday.
Their mothers often reflect on what being in labor was like for them on 9/11.
"My brother ran into the room at the time and told me that we were being attacked," Trish Shrum, Mackenzie's mother said. "So for the first two weeks of her life, I stayed in the house and didn't want to do anything. It was scary, but it was a blessing at the same time."
Shrum and Weir belong to generation z, those born from the mid-1990s mid-2010s. It is defined as being the first generation that grew up in a "post-9/11 world." This is especially true for Shrum and Weir, whose lives began on 9/11.
"Security is a lot different now than how my parents and grandparents grew up. I can't
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imagine going to the airport and not having to take my shoes off or my belt," Shrum said.
Shrum and Weir agreed that many people their age, who were born after the attacks or were too young to remember the attacks, don't take them seriously. They believe they are more attuned to the severity of the attacks than many other people their age because of their birth date.
"People our age don't understand it or take it seriously enough at all. They joke about it," Shrum said. "I feel like I take it more seriously than other people might because I was born on that day. I think more about it than other people my age have to."
Weir says he often feels that it's inappropriate to celebrate his birthday and he usually waits until later in the day, after a few hours of reflection, to celebrate.
"I post something on my Instagram story about all of the lost lives," he said. "I mean it's my birthday but I'm still going to respect all the people that died."
Both mothers agreed that they feel uncomfortable celebrating their children's birthdays on 9/11.
"We've never done a birthday party on 9/11. We'll do the party the day before or the day after their birthday but never on," Kezzie Weir said.
"People lost their lives, but I was able to bring one in," Trish Shrum said.