Columnist reflects on Sept. 11 attacks

It’s a date that tragically stands bold in United States history books, sends chills up many individuals’ spines when spoken of and remains one of the biggest scars on American soil since the birth of the mighty nation.

A nation that stood proud, tall, true and just, collapsed to its knees as news of surprise attacks made its way onto every television screen across the States.

911 became more than just a number of relief – it became a mournful date that everyone old enough to remember will never forget. This will forever be remembered in our minds as Sept. 11, 2001.

For some, never forgetting means regarding the innocent lives taken on that day.

Others simply say that they will always remember because “it taught us a valuable life lesson: cherish every moment in life because you don’t know what the future has in store for you,” as Gannon University senior pre-med major Priya George said.

Some conclude that the impact of the events will forever influence both foreign and domestic actions of the United States.

Many feel that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan made way for this mindset.

This Sept. 11 marked the 11th anniversary of the day the United States came together to help individuals who were seen as strangers before but family now.

The day that thick, smoldering, suffocating smoke was unleashed on the streets of New York City, people fought for their lives only to be a few seconds late.

And buildings so formidable were left with a flaming scar: despite these things it became a day that we as a country united as one.

Although the country came together through fear, rage, hopelessness and patriotism 11 years ago, does the date still mean as much to Americans who felt so strongly about it then?

Sophomore history major Chris Langford said, “When it first happened there was a lot of fear and concern. It was all people ever talked about.”

Americans who witnessed the destruction of the towers, the Pentagon and the plane crash in the Shanksville, Pa., field, whether on television or in person, can’t simply forget.

Most individuals remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they received the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

So, why have so many chosen to put it behind them or in the back of their minds?

The turmoil of 9/11 left the United States in fear, outrage and concern, which led to a war that still hasn’t come to an end 11 years later.

The taking of innocent lives that day inspired individuals to enlist and swear to protect the people and Constitution of the United States.

The support of the American people toward the war once stood strong, but has diminished because of the views of the intentions of the war – many believe it has become too involved with other aims besides searching for the responsible terrorist groups.

Many soldiers from all the armed forces have been killed while trying  to kill and capture those responsible for the attacks.

Although the United States successfully killed the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, the military is still hunting the group of terrorists that follow with attacks across the world.

Now children who were once too young to understand that their father or mother had died in the towers, the flights or in the Pentagon are old enough to recognize what actually happened and who was behind the attacks.

Family and friends of the victims are going without loved ones every day because of surprise attacks.

Survivors seek to find why they were chosen to live out of the many who had perished that day.

Why is it that only the soldiers who have lost battle buddies, the children who lost mothers or fathers, the family and friends of victims, and the ones who witnessed firsthand and survived what they think they shouldn’t have, seem to be the only individuals who commemorate those who were lost and what was lost as a nation that day?

America has seemed to have forgotten not what happened on that day but the morals and transition the United States made as a nation prior to 9/11.

Eleven years later it shouldn’t just be a day that is remembered by those who were directly impacted but it should be a day of remembrance that sparks “a sentiment of patriotism and purpose among Americans,” according to former Gannon University, English major Elizabeth Wildauer.

Sept. 11, 2001, never forgotten.

 

KRYSTINA GEORGE

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