By Lauren Sorensen, Editor in Chief
Every generation endures one. A moment in history that the mere mention of prompts a flow of what one was doing when they found out that the world stopped turning. A moment that prompts this response, and resounds as a day we as Americans were reminded of the fragility of life, is Sept. 11, 2001.
The nation watched in shock and terror as symbols of American prosperity crumbled and 2,977 Americans lost their lives.
Moving forward from 9/11, Americans came together to remind both the world and ourselves what it means to come together as a nation. A patriotic spirit swept through every main street of every city in every state. Flags flew and trumpets played as patriotism soothed wounds and American heroes were laid to rest.
Fourteen years later, the effects of this American catastrophe are still felt.
But as we move forward in time, a new generation of Americans is entering adulthood. The children of 9/11 are not children anymore. A current freshman in high school was an infant at the time of the attack, and a senior in high school too young to remember it. Soon, there will be young adults who were not even alive on Sept. 11, 2001.
Now, schools face a question: Should 9/11 remain a day memorialized through conversations in schools across the nation?
The answer is a resounding yes.
The world seems to become smaller and smaller each day. It is the time of a global community, not just who lives next door. The next generation of Americans will face an entirely new set of adversities as we must learn to co-exist with a rapidly expanding world population.
With every instance of progress there comes a setback, and terrorism, both domestic and abroad, will be a setback pushing on our population.
Americans must never forget what it means to sacrifice for one’s country.
Seven billion people is enough to transform the world into a pressure cooker, ready to combust at any second.
If America is to rise above and be a model of tranquility and prosperity, and be a global leader, we must look to 9/11 to remind us of important ideals.
Americans must never forget what it means to sacrifice for one’s country. The heroic women and men of 9/11, whether they be firefighters, plane passengers, flight attendants, or World Trade Center employees, forever represent the ideals of patriotism and giving up her or his life for a fellow American. The ultimate sacrifice forever in-debts the country to them. Let none of them die in vain.
Americans must never forget that in our darkest hour, we must look inward and to each other for strength. There is no better ally than friends and neighbors. People must feel the weight of the Pledge of Allegiance and what it means to be an American. We must always remember that in destruction, beauty can always grow, and must consider that every obstacle is a chance to become stronger.
Americans must never forget what great responsibility we carry. Not every state in the world will agree with the American Dream. There will be global competition and resistance faced. It is our job to understand global diversity and sympathize with global struggles. America cannot be the sovereign factor in our decision making, and greed is not an option.
Sept. 11, 2001 serves a schema for a multitude of lessons. It represents conflict, tragedy, bravery, resilience, and the importance of global understanding.
And that, we must never forget.
The Current welcomes submissions from all students, faculty, administration, and community members, but reserves the right to edit for length or content. Any column, editorial, or letter to the editor expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the entire staff.
(Photograph courtesy of Yokes Photography.)
2 responses to “The Children of 9/11 Are Not Children Anymore”
Beautiful, Ms. Sorensen.
Wonderful article Lauren! But I think there is more than one way to see the whole situation! It’s like looking at a tree in the winter. You can’t just say “Oh Lord, that’s an ugly tree!” No! Because the tree changes, gets new leaves, flowers and maybe apples! We could fight about the “why did 9/11 happen?”. If it was caused by an fault of the U.S. government (arming Osama Bin Laden to let him fight against Americas enemies. “Our enemies enemies are our friends”) or if it was just a terrorist action. But I don’t think that’s the point right now. My question is, is it really a patriotic act, if you help people in need, like all the fire fighters, police officers, or just some “random” people, who put there lifes in danger, to safe other people? Or is this just humane and how it’s supposed to be? Patriotism is, if you do something for your country, so if you say that the firefighters, plane passengers, flight attendants, or World Trade Center employees, forever represent the ideals of patriotism, does that mean that somebody who does not believe in his country, wouldn’t have safed any people that day? I do not think it has anything to do with Patriotism!
Patriotism in America means, to serve your country. But what does serving your country mean? Patriotism lost it’t real meaning in America a long time ago.. If I would ask anybody at West Bend High, I would get the answer “to join”. But serving your country does not mean to “help” other countries, who do not want help, it could also mean to get a good high scholl degree, go to college and get a good job! Pay your taxes, help the people in your community who do not get help by the government, or it could also mean to donate. Patriotism has a wrong meaning in our American society today!
I think that over 50% of the American population do not even quiet know, why exactly 9/11 happened and who had to do with all of it. So why should you keep teaching about it, if it doesn’t work. Most of the Americans just see what they want to see or hear what they want to hear. So even if somebody would tell them the whole truth about 9/11, they wouldn’t believe it or just ignore the important facts. Because in their eyes, America is the best country in the world, but it is not. But somebody who closes their eyes, to not see the truth, will not understand the whole picture! If you tell him, how beautiful the tree will look in the summer, he will keep telling you no and how ugly the tree is! And even if you show him pictures of the tree when he has flowers or apples on it, he will tell you that this is not the truth. So why keep trying to teach about it? Americans are stubborn, so they won’t believe, until they stand right in front of the tree on a beautiful summer day. But now.. How do you translate that part of my metaphor into the real life? Right, connected to our story, there is no way, to show Americans the whole truth..