Remembering 9/11 as a Tribute to Freedom


Kirti Nath, Science Editor

Fourteen years ago our nation faced a tragedy that has left an indelible impression on the lives of so many Americans and individuals around the world. It is a day remembered for both the fateful events as well as the selfless displays of courage, gratitude, and hope on part of first-responders. Most adults have a vivid flashbulb memory associated with the attacks on our nation, but over a decade later, our generation barely has any recollection at all. Some of us remember the day as an early dismissal on the first day of preschool, or a retain a vague picture of our parents’ faces, but many of us have no memory of it at all. In fact, in another year, many of the students at Ward Melville would not have been born on the day of the attacks.

So with the day becoming more and more a part of history, it becomes ever more important that we heed to the words, “Never forget.” September 11th is a day that commemorates both loss and destruction as well as unity and regrowth. It is a day in history that is bound into the fabric of American culture. Whether we were old enough to remember the attacks is inconsequential. It is not enough to drive by the flags,  to stand in solitude for a minute, or to half-heartedly listen to Dr. Baum’s announcement. We need to consciously remind ourselves of the event in an effort to preserve the meaning of what it stands for. This begs the question, are we doing enough?

For years, schools, radio-stations, and news networks spent hours dedicated to a solemn reminder of the attacks. More cars used to bear the sticker “Never forget.” But today, many of us didn’t notice the date until last night when we transferred unfinished homework in our planner or until this morning when we drove up to the school and saw the flags. It’s not that I feel that we should be inundated with tributes to the attacks, it’s that we should be more cognizant of what September 11th now stands for.

Patriotism isn’t a term to be memorized, but and emotion to be felt. We live in a nation that gives us the freedom to live lives free of tyranny, abuse, discrimination, and exploitation. We have family members and neighbors that offer their lives to preserve the rights we overlook everyday. As the next American generation, we need to step away from our day to day activities to remember these things.

It’s easy to get caught up in matters college applications, major tests, and club politics. We have such busy schedules to keep track of that we forget that it is our freedom that gives us the opportunity to think of these things in the first place. We forget that as we sit and painstakingly make it through the drowsiness of first through third period that some kids don’t have the opportunity to sit in class at all. We forget that just because we can speak up for what we believe in and start a club for a cause doesn’t mean everyone can. So, as time continues to pass and as fourteen years turns into a two decades, and then three- it is essential that we begin to acknowledge the privileges that we have and try to incorporate these ideals into our lives even if that simply means  actually standing and reciting up the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning.