It’s extremely odd to be on the back end of a generation affected by tragedy.
Those born between 1996-2001 most likely do not remember the tragedy of what happened on September 11, 2001. In fact of the 25 students I randomly surveyed, three remembered in vivid detail what was going on in their lives (specific people, locations, emotions), seven remembered vague details such as being picked up from daycare or school and the remaining 15 have no recollection of the day whatsoever.
While it is not our fault that we were not around to remember where we were or who we were with, it is vital that we turn to those who do remember that day to keep the memory of those lost alive.
The summer of 2018, I went to New York City and visited the 9/11 memorial and museum at Ground Zero. The city seemed to disappear as whispers of fellow onlookers were overheard. The scene was ironically peaceful. We entered the museum and walked about the collected rubble, remaining structures and relics from the day.
We entered the portion of the museum that displayed the events in chronological order down to the minute. The halls were silent other than the occasional news broadcast being replayed. All reverently walked about the display, those that remembered the events first hand and those that did not.
In high school, I was used to hearing the stories of where my teachers were and how they reacted. It came as a shock to me last year during my first year at Doane that September 11 was just a normal Tuesday. No one spoke about where they were or how they felt.
While we should not dwell on the darkness on the past, the nature of the events does not constitute forgetting them as a whole. We must ensure that the memory of victims and pre-9/11 America as a whole are not forgotten. It is also important to understand the impact these attacks have on our lives today.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” -Marcus Garvey
We as a nation were shaped by adversity. Our struggles made us who we are today. This wound still has to heal for us to look unbiased at the situation and recognize its historical significance.