This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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A solemn salutation to you, fellow reader. I have been deeply ruminating over my past visit to the 9/11 memorial in New York City several years ago. It was a somber moment that gave me a minute or two to pause, pondering how a tragic event that occurred on September 11th, 2001, has changed the entire world in ways we didn’t even know since the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese during World War II, back in 1941.
Therefore, upon reflecting such events, the late Thomas Jefferson was right about one thing: the price we pay for freedom is eternal vigilance. And I fear that since we fall into a sense of complacency during peacetime, we begin to witness the events starting to unravel before our very eyes, whether it’s on the news or at the scene right in front of us. And my firsthand experience during my formative years in grade school is no different. Now, if only I could accurately recall what has transpired back in the day…
September 11, 2001
I was in class, at my usual studying routine, when suddenly, we were all told to evacuate the school, in the interest of public safety. I was a bit confused, unaware of what was going on, but I waited outside near the drop-off point with everyone else. Once my mother picked me up, I began to listen to the radio, with reports of an unprovoked attack on our soil, and in multiple attempts on that same day. I was surprised as to how such attacks were brazen enough to warrant any notice.
And then, upon hearing tributes to the fallen on the radio, I began to well up into tears. My mother has sensed my distress, and she turned off the radio to comfort me, on the very day which will live in infamy (if I could be kind enough as to borrow such a phrase from FDR).
Now, 20 years later, I still ruminate on it, knowing that if we let our guard down, whether we are at peace or at war, history will have paralleled itself as a repetition of such an unprovoked attack on our nation.
Even though I continue to express a sober demeanor over it all, I cannot help but express my dismay towards those who view it as part of some harebrained conspiracy (since thousands of people have perished in or anywhere near the Twin Towers, and their dignity would be put into question of mere sensationalism were to be put into the equation), and seething anger towards those who trivialize this heartrending tragedy for any reason (ranging from hollow propaganda from the attackers to comparing it to the January 6th incident by woke radical ochlocrats of higher academia).
What 9/11 Means to Younger Generations
It is true that in the eyes of younger generations, that day of remembrance seemed very far away from them, as if they have not even felt impacted in any way by such; an understandable reaction, given the circumstances. But when someone begins to downplay a tragedy of this magnitude, they not only cheapen the lives of the victims involved, but also the very symbolic meaning of this memorial. Just because I have not lived long enough to witness World War II or the Vietnam War doesn’t mean that I’d go around belittling their importance; that’s not how a self-respecting civilian comports, in regards to the deep reflection of history. After all, who would be foolish enough to disprove the iconic Battle of Iwo Jima, or dismiss the intent to hold the 17th Parallel during the proxy wars between North and South Vietnam?
On that note, I would like to ask future generations to dwell upon what I have said and remember the importance of memorials like this one. Perhaps one day you might witness a national tragedy taking place, and it might even shake you to your very core. And once it does, you might have the chance to pay your respects, watch pertaining documentaries, and even view the entire ordeal in the eyes of the survivors as well as the families of the victims. As long as you do so, you might find sufficient closure in all of this, knowing that you would have a lot to tell further future generations about it.
It may not be easy trying to make sense out of a tragedy of armed conflict that has greatly affected the nation you lived in, especially if you weren’t around to witness it firsthand. But once you gain different perspectives through thorough research and listening to multiple sources in a most dispassionate manner befitting a thorough researcher, you will have well and truly honored the memory of the fallen (civilian or otherwise) with your newfound wisdom.