Lack of commemoration for 9/11

Anna Malesiewski, Asst. Editor

Sept. 11, 2001, was one of the most trying times for us as a nation. Every year after, this tragic day has been commemorated in some way across the nation in schools, workplaces and the hearts of the American people.
But this year, I saw very little respectful commemoration.
I was born into the post-9/11 era. The terrorist attack on our nation occurred just months before I was born. I have never known an America that has not been affected by 9/11.
Until this year. I was extremely disheartened to find such a lack of reverence on this day that both defined and united us as a nation.
So what happened? What contributed to the lack of patriotism that I saw displayed on Sept. 11? What happened to the presentations and videos I watched, the assignments I was required to do and the social media posts in remembrance of this day that were commonplace in years past?
Political polarization has swept the nation in a way that is unprecedented. And with a country so divided, it has become difficult to unite on any front, even a patriotic one.
But we must not forget that we are all Americans. Although I was too young to remember, I often hear older adults reminisce on the “America on 9/12”. An America that, despite (and because of) the rubble, destruction and grief, was united. An America that was determined and strong. On 9/12, Americans experienced senses of unity, patriotism and pride.
There comes a time to put politics aside, even for one day. I was extremely disheartened at the way that, as a nation, we let polarization drown out remembrance of such an important day. We let our political and ideological differences overpower those who lost their lives that day. On Sept. 11, 2020, we as a nation decided that political divisiveness was more important than a nation united.
Even while this country is torn apart by political division, we must not lose sight of our common identity as Americans. We must not forget that without the principles and ideals the United States was founded on, we would not be allowed to voice the opinions that divide us.
We must not forget those who fought so hard in response to that day. This year, disagreement was more important than the firemen, first responders and all who worked tirelessly to save lives. It was more important than those who risked and lost their lives fighting to defend the country they loved so much, which is now in shambles.
Political disagreement is inevitable. But we cannot let it drown out our commonalities. We are stronger united. And on Sept. 11, 2020, my heart was heavy at the recognition that we are not united anymore.

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