It has been a trying year for the United State with natural disasters, riots, injustice, political controversies, you name it. In the middle of all this, a very important day has been partially swept under the rug; September 11.
Hurricane Irma was ravaging the southern part of Florida, while thousands in Texas are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. These storms have been dominating our news, our TV channels, and our attention. While this catastrophe is incredibly damaging and people are desperately in need of any assistance, we’ve begun to lose sight of other crises.
The sixteenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon and Twin Towers was not widely acknowledged, save for a few social media posts with the hashtag #neverforget. Unfortunately, forgetting seems to be exactly what we’re beginning to do as a nation.
It is true; we are now entering a time where some college students or young adults have little to no memory of that day. Personally, I do not remember watching the towers collapse on the news or calling loved ones in a panic to make sure they were okay, but I do remember the aftermath. It was a day that affected us all, young and old, simply because we are Americans.
The time comes where it is okay to move on and look forward, but it will never be acceptable to forget.
Never forget those who lost their lives. Never forget those who were terribly injured. Never forget those who ran into the fire instead of away from it. Never forget those who selflessly gave their lives so that others may live. Never forget the families and friends who could do nothing to save their loved ones.
A lot of people just don’t want to talk about it anymore. Maybe it was too painful, and the thought of reliving that day even just in our minds is terrifying. Maybe people just consider it ancient history, and it fades to the back of our minds. Because of this, millions of American children are growing up with no realization of this day. This is a mistake.
Former president George W. Bush, on November 1, 2001, addressed the United Nations General Assembly with a rousing speech that included the words, “Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”
Remembering 9/11 is not about feeling anger towards terrorists or giving them any credit at all. Remembering 9/11 is about honoring our heroes, showing love to all who were involved, and standing tall and proud in defense of our country and its values.
Disregarding the impact of this event on our history and our country does not help us move on. It is just a form of avoidance or denial. Instead of forgetting, let the memory live on through us and our children. Let it inspire us to fight for our home, our family, and our United States.