This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, are seared into our parents’ and grandparents’ memories — if asked, any American above the age of 30 could tell you exactly where he or she was when they heard the news that planes had flown into the World Trade Center.
They remember the footage of President George W. Bush receiving the news while reading a picture book to school children in Florida. They remember the president’s bullhorn speech from the rubble of the Twin Towers. They remember proudly flying the stars and stripes from their front porch for the days and weeks that followed.
Our generation has none of these memories.
Twenty years ago, many of us were still sleeping in cribs and drinking from bottles. The freshman and sophomore classes were not even born.
Everything our generation knows about 9/11 has come from stories, photographs, and videos. Our emotional attachment to the day is much weaker than those old enough to remember the day for themselves.
Because of this, it would be easy for us to neglect this day and treat it like any other.
Will we allow 9/11 to become just another date in a history textbook?
It is up to our generation to honor Sept. 11 so that remembrance of this solemn day lives on.
We should never forget the 2,977 innocent lives taken by Islamic terrorists on 9/11.
Now, more than ever, with chaos at home and abroad, we must remember who our true enemies are — those who seek to destroy the United States and the values it was founded upon.
In 2003, Young America’s Foundation, in conjunction with its chapter affiliate organization, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), launched its “9/11: Never Forget” project with the goal of placing 2,977 flags on high school and college campuses across the country every Sept. 11 in order to honor those who lost their lives.
Since then, YAF chapters have placed more than 12 million flags on their campuses — making this project the largest nationwide student activism project. Because of its importance, Hillsdale’s YAF chapter has been a longtime participant in this program.
Please meet at the Hillsdale American Legion at 8 a.m. on Saturday to help set up flags for a ceremony hosted by the first responders in the Hillsdale community.
The program will begin at 8:46 a.m. in order to mark the time of the first crash into the World Trade Center.
All students and faculty are welcome to attend and ensure we #neverforget.
David Swegle is a junior George Washington Fellow studying economics. He serves as secretary of Hillsdale’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter.