What I’ve Learned

The following is a politically and socially charged article. In writing it, I am setting up myself for massive criticism. If you don’t wish to know my opinions about our response to 9/11 don’t read the article. If you want my opinion, read on.

Today is the fifth anniversary of our generation’s day of infamy; we know it as 9/11. If one were to judge America by the media, apparently five years is the appropriate time needed to grieve before that moment is immortalized in film and on television.

For myself, I know that I shall carry the memory of that horrible event with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget where I was or the shock I felt when I watched it unfold before my eyes on television.

I know that I did not lose someone I knew that day, and I know that some may say that I have no right to comment upon that day because of that fact. However, I am an American and I am proud of it, and as such, I feel the pain that the entire nation felt that day.

This pain unites us. We know the same basic feeling that the next person does about it. With this, we can connect and heal our wounds together and move on. It was a painful event, but it makes us stronger as a nation.

When I see movies like “United 93” and TV shows such as “The Path to 9/11,” I have mixed feelings. One one hand, I respect the rights of the writers, actors, and directors to participate in making these books, movies, and shows. However, I cannot help but wonder: are we doing it for profit?

Yes, the movies and books do show that heroes were made of that day. I know that every single firefighter, policeman, and EMT that responded to that tragedy is a hero, and I know that many of these heroes lost their lives. I do not necessarily need a movie to give me my opinion. I will derive and write my own opinions.

However, at the same time I wonder how long it will be before that day will just become another fact beside the countless others in our history books. The lives that were lost that day will never come back, and future generations will, most likely, not understand the significance of such an event for our generation.

This is not an issue that will be solved with one essay, one movie, one book. We all need to consider this issue for ourselves. On each anniversary of this day, we must do three things. We must first remember those lost. We must then observe how we have evolved and grown because of our loss (I see the loss of those people as a loss for all Americans in the view that I am an American). Finally, and most importantly, we must see how we can evolve and better ourselves for future anniversaries. This doesn’t just mean how we secure our borders, but in how we can respond to crises, both personal and national, in the future.

I hope this essay has not offended you but has helped you evaluate and reevaluate your opinions and feelings about this tragedy.

Those lost shall never be forgotten.

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