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Remembering The 8 Children Who Died On 9/11

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children who died on 9/11

Today marks the 21st anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, a day that changed our country forever.

Almost 3000 people died in the 9/11 attacks on The Twin Towers, The Pentagon, and Flight 93, which crash-landed in Pennsylvania.

September 11th is now a day of mourning Americans spend remembering the many innocent people who died, including eight children whose stories are often forgotten.

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The children who died on that day age ranged from 2 to 11 years old, and while one can only imagine what their last moments were like, we honor their memories by remembering the stories of their far too brief lives.

These are the stories of the 8 children who died in the 9/11 attacks.

  • Christine Lee Hanson, 2

Christine was two years old when she headed onto United Airlines Flight 175 in Boston towards California. The youngest child to die in the September 11 attacks, she was from Groton, Massachusetts.

Christine was said to be a bright and busy toddler

She was headed to Los Angeles with her parents Peter, 32, and Sue Kim Hanson, 35, who were taking her on her first trip to Disneyland. It was also her first trip on an airplane.

Peter was able to call Christine's grandpa, World War II veteran, Lee Hanson, a World War II veteran, to say goodbye on behalf of himself and his family.

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  • David Gamboa-Brandhurst, 3

On the same flight, 3-year-old David Gamboa-Brandhurst was traveling home to Los Angeles, California with his 'Daddy' and 'Poppy' after a fun trip visiting family in Cape Cod.

David loved Legos, his cousins, and attending his weekly swim class. According to his aunt Jeannie Merwin, he was a lover of vegetables as he even opted to eat cherry tomatoes over cake and ice cream at a cousin’s birthday party.

He was accompanied on flight 175 with both of his fathers, Daniel Brandhorst, 42, and Ronald Gamboa, 33.

  • Juliana Valentine McCourt, 4

Juliana Valentine McCourt was also aboard United Airlines Flight 175. Her mother Ruth McCourt was a former model who emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in 1973. Ruth married Juliana's father David McCourt in 1994.

Juliana was traveling with Ruth on vacation from their home in Newton, Massachusetts to Southern California. Ruth had planned to divide their week between The Deepak Chopra Center for Well Being and Disneyland.

McCourt's brother Ron Clifford, a software salesman, was in the North Tower when Flight 11 crashed and he managed to stumble out of the building, only to witness Flight 175 crash into the South Tower. He didn't know at the time, but that plane had his little niece Juliana and sister Ruth inside.

"I think when I was on the floor saying the Lord’s Prayer … when the second plane hit, just in a strange way maybe Ruth guided me out of there," Clifford told ABC News at the time.

Ruth's best friend Paige Farley-Hackel was on Flight 11 to Los Angeles, the first plane to crash. The three had planned to meet in California, where& Paige and Ruth were going to surprise Juliana with the trip to Disneyland.

According to Juliana's father's obituary, David McCourt worked with the Cuomo family to help found B.R.A.V.E. Juliana, a program of HELP USA, that's purpose is to teach children to live without hate and non-violence and conflict resolution.

Her father became a recognized voice appearing on TV with Diane Sawyer, Larry King, Connie Chung, and many others, keeping the memory of the beloved Juliana and Ruth alive until he passed in 2013.

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  • Bernard Curtis Brown II, 11

Bernard Curtis Brown II was one of three brilliant students to be chosen by National Geographic as one of three sixth-grade students in the Washington, D.C. area to go on an educational adventure to the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary off the California coast.

The middle-school students were accompanied by their teachers and National Geographic Society employees on Flight 77, which crashed into the pentagon. In yet another strange twist, Bernard's father happened to work at the Pentagon, but was out playing golf that day.

Bernard was praised for his spelling and drawing. He was said to have had a zest for living.

According to his mother, Bernard "lived to go to school" and loved basketball. During the same year, he had just purchased a pair of Air Jordan sneakers and was wearing the shoes on Sept. 11.

His father said his son was apprehensive about flying before the trip and the pair even talked about what could happen on the plane.

"To be honest, we talked about death. And I just told him, 'Don't be afraid. … Just listen to what the people tell you, and the instructions. You'll be all right; you'll be fine.' He said, 'Daddy, I’m scared,' and I said, 'Hey, don't be scared; don't be afraid to die. Because we are all going to die someday."

  • Asia Cottom, 11

Asia Cotton was another student selected by National Geographic to go on the same educational trip.

Asia's father, Clifton Cottom, said that she was a real charmer who was trying hard to grow up.

Asia had a passion and talent for science and math. She dreamed of becoming a pediatrician and enjoyed dancing and jumping rope double-Dutch style.

Her mother Michelle says, "God had a much higher calling for her. He took a child that just loved Him and had blind faith in Him. Like most children believe in Santa Claus, this child believed in God. Who better to show the world Jesus than through a child?"

In 2014, Asia's family coauthored a book in her memory titled "Asia’s New Wings" about people Asia touched in her time on earth. In the book, Asia's family remembers her being always busy, always positive, and always involved in this activity or another.

The Cottom family established a scholarship program to help children get excited and learn about education and science. Clifton Cottom also began coaching and mentoring other school-aged girls from the community after Asia's death.

RELATED: Former Head Of Logan Airport Explains How She Moved Forward After Being Blamed For 9/11 Attacks

  • Rodney Dickens, 11

Rodney was another of the three children chosen to go on the trip to California. This trip was Rodney's first time on an airplane.

The Washington Post reported that Rodney was a smart kid, always making the honor roll, reading, and liked playing computer games and playing with his four siblings.

According to his aunt Cynthia Dickens, his favorite thing in the world was to watch professional wrestling on TV.

One of his classmates at Ketcham Elementary School said that Rodney was "a kind, nice person who loved Pokemon" and "helped other people with their homework if they didn't understand it."

  • Dana and Zoe Falkenberg, 3 and 8

Dana and Zoe died on Flight 77 with their parents, 45-year-old former NASA engineer Charles Falkenberg and 45-year-old economics professor Leslie Whittington.

Zoe was said to be a top student in her school University Park Elementary School, in University Park, Maryland. She was an active young girl who was involved in Girl Scouts, loved ballet, was a devotee of the Harry Potter books, and participated as a member of her school's swim team.

Dana was an adorable curly-haired child and family friends said that, as she was born a bit later in her parents' life, was seen as a miracle child.

Dana also loved nursery school and was an aspiring swimmer like her sister, taking swimming lessons at a local YMCA.

The family was on the first leg of a trip to Australia, where the girls' mother would be participating in a semester-long research fellowship at the Australian National University in Canberra for two months.

The family missed their original connecting flight, so they boarded American Airlines flight 77 in D.C.

The girls had an impressive stuffed animal collection and most of their toys had been consigned to storage in anticipation of the family’s stay abroad.

Their grandfather, Dr. Horace C. Whittington, held onto two stuffed animals from the girls — Zoe's aquamarine-hued Dad Dinosaur and Dana’s Teddy Bear. When he passed away in 2015, his widow, Natalie Whittington, gave them to the 9/11 museum.

RELATED: Former Head Of Logan Airport Explains How She Moved Forward After Being Blamed For 9/11 Attacks

Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers astrology, love and relationships, and pop culture.

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