The anniversary of September 11 causes great reflection for myself. I always go back to the awful day and replay it through the perspective of a high school freshman who was horrified at what he was watching on TV.
But it never fails that each year something new tugs at me about the tragedy. As we mark the 18th anniversary of the attacks, the milestone itself is what has me thinking. Today, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States will become legal adults as they turn 18. A high percentage of these people were born after the second tower fell at 10:28 a.m. ET.
We now have adults in our country who were not alive during the 9/11 attacks. Guess what? This number is going to grow tomorrow and the next day and the next day….
We hear the phrase “Never Forget” whenever the anniversary draws near. I don’t think we can say it lightly, or, even worse, discount it as a cliché. We truly can’t forget and we need to vigorously educate the younger generation about what happened 18 years ago today.
Although they will never know the feeling of despair and shock that we all felt, they can at least learn about the atrocity and honor the thousands who perished. Perhaps the best way they can pick up on the magnitude of what occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, is to just observe the reverence those of us who lived through 9/11 have for the day. Saying prayers, watching the actual coverage of the event, and even looking through some of the sobering picture books that document the day are all meaningful ways we can remember the anniversary ourselves while teaching those who didn’t live through it.
Consider this: Every second, the percentage of people who lived during 9/11 dwindles and the percentage of people who didn’t live during 9/11 increases. Let’s do everything we can to make sure we never let those who come after us forget what happened. Don’t Blink.