To me, today could be considered just any other day. I was not personally impacted by the attacks of 9/11/01. All of my loved ones were safe on that day, thank goodness. Today is just another Friday, another payday, another night to go out with friends.
Or is it? Is it really okay to not do anything to remember a day when over 3,000 people lost their innocent lives? Is it okay to "forget" about the heartbreak, the fear, the confusion, the panic of that day? Has so much time passed that it is no longer relevant to discuss this day?
I was in 8th grade when the attacks happened. Even though I was not personally impacted by those tragic events, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember exactly what I was doing, what I was wearing, and how I felt. I remember the reaction of people at my middle school. I remember that there were several people missing from the school that day because they lost someone in the attacks. I remember teachers that stopped everything and were just watching TV during class to try and find out exactly what the hell was going on.
Why do I remember this? Mostly because it was an incredibly big deal at my school. Almost half the student boy/faculty lost someone, or knew someone who was injured that day. (Keep in mind, though, that my school wasn't terribly big...perhaps 2,000 or less students and faculty.) I watched the news for the majority of that day and had goosebumps on my arms as I saw those buildings fall, and people running and screaming, and people crying.
Perhaps you are wondering why I would chose to write something so depressing? Well, truthfully, it's because I believe that this horrible day has fallen by the wayside. It is not and the forefront of people's minds anymore - which is distressing. It is SO important that we remember this, so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. We need to learn from our mistakes, from the mistakes of others, and need to keep tragedies such as this in the front of our minds for two main reasons: 1. So that the victims are not forgotten, and 2. So that those who committed these acts of terrorism are found, caught, and punished for their crimes.
I cringe to think that we are STILL seeking the perpetrators of 9/11/01. It is true that we had found several people that were in connection with the act, however, we have not found the main culprit. We aren't even sure if he's still alive, at this point. I think that we need to focus on finding this person (and any other people associated with him) so that these attacks to do not happen again and do not continue to happen as they grow more confident.
These are hard times, for everyone. It seems that all the things that we thought we built solidly - the society and culture that we have created that we thought was safe and secure - are no more. Things are crashing at our feet and many people do not know what to do. The country is almost in shambles because of the economy, the housing market, health care, extremism, and many other things. It's hitting everyone, for the most part, and a lot of people are scared - including myself.
The only thing that I can say, as today draws to a close, is that I have optimistic hopes for the future of our country. I don't believe that we will crash and burn. I think that Americans are made of better stuff, and I think that we will eventually prevail against the great beast that is selfishness, greed, and corruption. I believe in our President to help us out of this mess. I believe that Congress has good intentions. I even believe that we will one day win the battle with the ones that brought destruction to our country for the first time in decades. I sincerely hope that I will not be proved wrong.
Good day to you!