We will never forget

Published 12:19 pm Friday, September 11, 2015

To think there is a group of students in high school this year who likely were not even born when the events of Sept. 11, 2001, took place.

To think there is a group of now 14-year-olds and younger who have known a country that has been at war — a war on terrorism — since they were born or before.

To think there is a group of young men and women, just now old enough to enlist in the military, who were maybe entering kindergarten when the horrible events in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., took place.

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Today, we will once again view news clips of the terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Towers in New York, destroyed a portion of the Pentagon and would have destroyed far more if not for the passengers of another terrorist-controlled airliner.

Today, we will have flags lowered to half staff in honor of those continuing to fight in the war on terror and in memory of the thousands killed on Sept. 11, 2001, and those killed since.

Today, in ceremonies in New York and elsewhere, the names of those killed when the packed commercial airliners were intentionally crashed into the World Trade Towers will once again be read aloud, along with the names of those heroic first responders who ran in the direction of danger.

The world forever changed on Sept. 11, 2001. The way we live our lives has changed. The way we look at the world and our future has been forever changed. But, with each passing year, the emotions felt the days following those horrific events have been tempered. The feelings of unity among our country and with others in the world have faded.

While we routinely emblazon the phrase “Never Forget” on T-shirts, posters, Facebook updates and tweets, some would argue that we have forgotten what it felt like to one, to be unified, to be Americans first and foremost.

We will never forget the lives lost, the battles waged or the sacrifices made. But, it is important that while we never forget, that we look at those sacrifices, those battles, as investments in a better country and a better world.