I still remember what I was doing when it happened. I was sitting in the kitchen, eating a bowl of cereal my mother had just placed in front of me when I saw the footage of an airplane blazing through the World Trade Center.
Though I was young, I understood the horrific consequences that would do to a building.
I am a part of the last generation that is old enough to remember 9/11. This year marks the 17th anniversary of one of the most horrendous attacks America has witnessed. It was a day America stood silent in unity and prayed to a God some didn’t even believe in until that day.
The picture of President George W. Bush receiving the devastating news is permanently ingrained in my mind. Time seemed to stand still in my small, little 5-year-old world.
Yet, I recently watched a video online of someone walking around asking people if they knew what 9/11 was. More than half of the people they talked to didn’t know and this is deeply troubling for society.
Before 9/11 the airport was easy — TSA took 5 seconds, now it takes almost an hour and you still might have to get a full pat down. Before 9/11, immigrants were hardly recognized, it was just normal. But after 9/11, immigration laws became strict — leading to roughly 18,000 criminal deportations in 2001. Bush declared a war on terrorism after this and it still continues to this day. Terrorists are hiding everywhere and watching from everywhere.
Should it not concern us that some people don’t remember? It greatly concerns and troubles me. It reminds me of not only the depravity of mankind but also the ability for mankind to come together in the darkest of times.
If we choose to blind ourselves from the evil that people are truly able to commit we open ourselves up to another one of these attacks. What scares me even more is that everyday people are screaming for loose immigration laws, stricter gun laws and hate toward the police.
The police and firefighters risked their lives to save as many people as they could, some died in the process.
The screams that pierced through the smoke and fire of that day should not be forgotten. Every day, people risk their lives for our country to defend us from external threats and proudly defend that flag that we flew at half-staff after that day. The least we can do as a society is educate ourselves and remember this atrocity.
“A people without the knowledge of their history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey