I still plainly remember, as a 20 year old preparing to return to college in a few days, watching the events of September 11th, 2001 unfold during Good Morning America. I remember my naive shock at the prospects of a plane “accidentally” striking the first tower and then reeling at the thought that it happened a second time. For a brief moment I still thought it was a terrible coincidence until ABC’s Charlie Gibson said that it was now obvious that it wasn’t an accident. I felt sick to my stomach.
Many of you likely have a similar story of what you remember about that day. You remember the brave response of firefighters, police, and paramedics. You remember the brave acts of passengers. You may remember a loved one lost or the sting of seeing people jumping to escape the towers on their own terms. You remember watching the towers fall and the terrible realization of what that meant for the people still trying to escape and the first responders who were streaming in.
These things aren’t pleasant to remember but they are good to remember. These are the types of events that forge the course of a nation, set the resolve of people, shape the world view of anyone paying attention, and inform the lessons that we will teach the next generation.
Always Remember, Never Forget!