Photo courtesy of Jenner Minix
On Sept. 11, 2001, the history of the United States of America would forever be changed. I can comfortably make the assumption that most people know at least the basic details of what happened on 9/11. But with each year, I have noticed an alarming lack of recognition on this day for the tragedy that took place eighteen years ago.
While I sat in class, writing my name and date on top of one of my paper, another student said out loud, “Oh wow, I didn’t even realize it was 9/11 today.”
During my next class, the P.A. crackled on and we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, which has slowly become a “once in a while” type of thing. Expecting a moment of silence or announcement regarding 9/11, I was shocked when there was nothing more than a corny joke and the sound of the microphone shutting off.
And now, I have questions.
How? How did this happen? How can we sit here and live our lives as if September 11th is just another day? How can we possibly complain about work or school or anything else so trivial when on this day, thousands of our own citizens perished at the hands of our enemy?
Why? Why is this day not saturated with sadness? Why do we act as if this day didn’t end with thousands of families waiting on someone to come home that never would? Why do we send our children to school and teach them algebraic expressions instead of the names of the first responders who gave the ultimate sacrifice that day? Why do we treat 9/11 as just another paragraph in our history book?
When? When does the memory of 9/11 slowly fade away? When does “Never Forget” turn into “wait, what happened on 9/11?”
What? What do we do?
We never forget. We teach the kids. Not just about the attacks, but the entire country coming together. Strangers holding each other in consolation. We teach them about the firefighters, police officers, military members-running straight into hell just to save the innocent.
We teach the kids to one day tell their children. We keep the memory alive, no matter how sad. We remember the fallen, their families, the survivors.
We remember the day our world changed forever.
The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Email Rayna Minix at [email protected] .