Born on 9/11 and turning 18 today, an Indianapolis man has a message for those younger than him

Born on 9/11 and turning 18 today, an Indianapolis man has a message for those younger than him

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Today is a day for people in Indiana and around the country to pause and remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

But it also has another meaning for families of children born on the day of the attacks.

This year, those children turn 18.

Will Rudolph, a senior at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, says his birthday is a reminder that good still happens even on the worst days.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Elizabeth Rudolph went to the grocery store at nine months pregnant and in minor labor.

It was at the grocery store when she says she saw the first plane hit the world trade center.

Elizabeth made it to the hospital with her husband R.J., who had seen the news at home.

They decided not to watch anymore, instead focusing on the joy of their day. But it was hard.

Elizabeth says doctors and nurses were distracted, worried about people they knew or loved.

R.J. told News 8 the hospital was so quiet with everyone in rooms watching the shocking events unfold on T.V.

They also had a six-year-old son to worry about. Joe’s school was on lock down and his grandmother had to pick him up.

Still, when Elizabeth and R.J. called friends and family to say Will was here and healthy, it brought them joy and hope.

Will has now had 18 years of telling people about his birthday. He says their reaction is mixed.

At first it’s shock, then they get quiet, he told News 8.

But those people are also reminded there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“More than 2,000 people died that day. I was lucky enough to be born. Watching that 10th anniversary service struck home how far we’ve come as a country and how far I’ve come growing up from such a day,” said Will.

For Elizabeth and R.J., they say they still had to raise a child.

“Raising a child in these times starting with 9/11 and now he’s 18. There’s so much they’re exposed to. I mean the day is special because it’s your birthday but, it’s a special day also because of what happened to the world in a negative way. You want to overshadow that and make every moment count,” said Elizabeth.

Will says he feels more responsibility now that he’s 18 to make sure younger kids remember 9/11. Those who died, but also how the country came together.

As Will becomes an adult, he told News 8 he’s most excited to vote.