The graduating class of 2023, high school or college, has no memory of towers collapsing in New York City. Either they were still twinkles in their parents’ eyes or totally unaware of the world beyond home and daycare. The only interest of those who were already born was when the next meal would show up. They had no idea the Pentagon had been attacked. While passengers on an airliner fought back against terrorists, these little ones were fast asleep or waiting for breakfast.
The adults in their lives echoed the cry “Never forget!”
“Defund the police” has been the most recent cry of the masses.
The same police who sacrificed their lives to help people out of the Twin Towers?
And not only police. How many firemen ran up the stairs before the towers crumbled, urging people to run down those same stairs? The firemen refused to leave, continuing up the stairs to the ninetieth floor and beyond, and the buildings collapsed on them.
How many military men raced toward the devastated wing of the Pentagon to pull out survivors?
How many lives were saved because courageous passengers on United Airlines Flight #93 chose to go down fighting rather than be used as helpless ammunition for another target in Washington, D.C.?
What happened between “Never Forget” and “Defund the Police?”
Many of us forgot to tell our children about what happened on September 11, 2001.
For any child ten years of age or older, have we told them about:
- Millions of American flags attached to car antennas?
- Blacks, whites, liberals, and conservatives all closing ranks against a common enemy?
- President Bush standing at Ground Zero with the NYC firemen, hugging them?
- Residents of New York City covered in ash and helping each other out of Manhattan?
- An American flag waving over the debris.
- Twin beams of light commemorating the towers and those who perished?
- A grief-stricken fireman kneeling in the rubble?
- The faces of those who perished flashing across our television screens?
Tears still trickle down my face as I force myself to remember what I saw. The cry of “never forget” echoes in my heart.
Twenty-two years ago, my children were teenagers and new adults, one son commissioned in the Army less than a year earlier. My students were eleven years old. I knew I would commemorate the date for all the future fifth-graders I taught.
Now, I am a grandmother.
My grandchildren range in age from sixteen to two. I don’t live near any of them.
I must ask my sons if they have taught their children to “never forget.” To never forget that there are evil people in this world. To never forget the victims of such a monstrous attack on civilians.To never forget that courageous people did their best to prevent more fatalities. To never forget the heroes of our time.
Have you remembered to teach your children and grandchildren to never forget?
History deleted – history repeated.