Twelve Years Later

by Ryan on September 11, 2013

in Anything Else,Culture,History,War on Terror

9/11.  As the years have passed, this anniversary has always seemed like a time to take account of where we are and who we were.  A time of silent reflection.  The “where were you” moment of our generation.  For the families of the fallen the wounds are still raw, but time has some healing qualities to it.

Today, America is more of a security state than at any time in my life, with an adrift foreign policy, and a sense that a growing number of people are losing faith in the government’s ability to protect them.  By exposing our vulnerability 9/11 may have gotten the ball rolling in that direction, but after a dozen years one would think we’d have made adjustments that the people could rally behind and trust.  That hasn’t really happened and that’s unfortunate.

My current students were four on 9/11.  Gone are those in my classroom who remember more than responding to the reactions of their parents or older siblings.

9/11 is becoming a different kind of history for the young, and it’s important we teach them some lessons:  perseverance, strength, and mettle are still in the American character.  Especially when seen in those who ran into the World Trade Center rather than from it as many faced the horrible choice between burning to death or jumping from 82 stories, or in those who made the choice to fight the hijackers and risk crashing rather than submit themselves to a dastardly fate, or in those who spent weeks digging into the rubble when exhaustion and the heartache would be more than most could bear.

That is the America I choose to remember on 9/11 and one that will always be with us.

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