One of my friends has a birthday today, and like most students I have class. We can’t dedicate the entire day to remembering a tragedy. Even if we like to think we do. Life moves too fast for us to do so.
The pain is still there. Some people lost family members, while others, like me, only lost two buildings. Two buildings that have never meant so much.
I was 8 years old when the planes struck, and enjoying a day in my third grade class, located in Connecticut. Then my Mother came rushing to pick-up my twin sister and I, changing my (American) life forever.
During a journalism class in community college we watched a documentary about one of the 9/11 photographs. The man in the photo was known as “The Falling man”. It was a very controversial photograph, which I do not wish to attach to this article. Also, I won’t spoil the ending; but they don’t use the man’s real name for a reason.
As my classmates, professor and I watched the documentary we all became teary eyed. Everyone in the room could remember that day, and watching the movie was like living it all over again. The helplessness and confusion from 9/11 came rushing back to us.
Nevertheless, today, like every day since 9/11, does not allow us to drop everything. Each day we live is in a way, taken for granted. Each day we have since 9/11 is one more than the victims in the planes, and in the towers. It’s also one more than the soldiers who were sent to Afghanistan. All of the victims, no matter how they died, made a sacrifice for fellow Americans. I thank all of them for what they did.
This doesn’t mean I won’t remember the tragedy today. 9/11 pops up in my head throughout the year, but today it will be there all day long. We will try not to forget. Although, if we realize that another tragedy, the one they call “A date which will live in infamy”*, has faded from every day thought, the reality of passing time becomes very depressing.
For now many of us can still remember every detail of 9/11. We pass it on to the children, and hope they can understand the devastation caused by something they were not around for. We try to teach them about where the attacks came from, without causing them to develop the same prejudices that some Americans formed after 9/11.
As Americans, no matter what our backgrounds are, we should be there for each other today. Religion and race shouldn’t separate us. Mourning will take up a good part of the day, but so will life. We have to enjoy that life, and use it well. For the people that died on 9/11, we need to remember, and we need to live.
*”A date which will live in infamy” refers to Pearl Harbor.