9/11: We Can’t Forget

Photo by Caroline Rosini

We were just babies the day innocence was ripped from us all.

Some of us may remember it as a TV newscast that looked like a movie. Some may remember it as a day home from school. Crying, frightened parents who couldn’t articulate to us what had happened because we were only kids. Some may remember loved ones lost. Others may not remember it at all.

For present college students, September 11, 2001, is testament to our memories. Being so young when the towers fell, we squint to remember where we were, what we were doing, what our parents told us, what we felt.

As each year passes, even the sharpest of memories inevitably warp and fade. Our teenage years ticked by, we entered college and 2000s babies grew up below us. Now, news outlets commemorate less and widespread remembrance is not as prevalent as it once was. Slowly, the horrors of 9/11 could fold into the crinkles of history.

But, we can’t forget.

We were born in a world that had never witnessed such cataclysmic, merciless terror of grandiose proportions. But, as the children of 2001, we witnessed the burning towers, the planes, the horror, with pure, faultless eyes. We subsequently grew up in a world of mistrust. We had to come to terms with hate earlier than most. Sometimes it seems easier to forget all that occurred on and after September 11.

But, we can’t forget.

We can’t forget the countless first responders that flocked to New York City and Washington D.C. to help those in need. We can’t forget the Americans from coast-to-coast that banded together to condemn terror as a united, unbreakable front.

We can’t forget the nearly 3,000 civilians and at least 450 first firefighters and police that lost their lives that day, while another 6,000 were injured.

We can’t forget the thousands of service men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting terror overseas— a war we continue to fight even today.

We can’t forget.

In a few years, we are going to be the parents, business people and politicians of the United States. Soon, we are going to take over the reins of the country in which have lived, learned and laughed. Soon, we’re going to look into the eyes of our own children and recognize their innocence, their purity. Someday soon after, we will experience hate again— whether against our race, our religion or our American values. When the time comes…

Trust us, we won’t forget.

Valley commemorates all the lives that were lost during the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Never Forget.