On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda left our country devastated after their attacks on Washington D.C. and New York City. Since then, the United States has lived with the motto, “never forget,” promising to honor those lost and protect our country from future attacks.
In D.C., we have built a Pentagon Memorial, where 184 benches face the Pentagon to memorialize each victim of the attack on our nation’s capital. It is a place for visitors to sit and ponder the implications of such a heartbreaking event in America’s history.
This year, however, Bullis seemed to let the 12th anniversary of 9/11 pass without significant notice.
Ten Bullis students, chosen at random, all stated they did not encounter a moment of remembrance or reflection of 9/11 during the school day.
There was neither an administrative acknowledgement nor a sanctioned time to reflect as a community on the weight of an event etched into our nation’s history. Three of the students I surveyed expressed their disappointment in the lack of attention 9/11's anniversary received at school this year. Although discussing September 11th can be depressing and morbid for some, it is important for us as a generation to be well educated and conscious of such momentous events.
“It’s not something we can look past. Even 12 years after it happened, it still crosses people's minds every day,” said Alleigh Peterson (’16).
Because they are too young to remember it or were born after the attacks, the generation after us will likely not fully grasp the meaning of 9/11 unless we do something about it. It is our duty as American citizens to inform those people so they will understand the devastation our country endured following the terrorist attacks.
Through increased awareness of the effects of such events, people will be more determined to make sure tragedy like this never happens again. A place like Bullis School that encourages its students to become caring citizens should remind its students of such a crucial part of our country’s history no matter how repetitive it may seem.
The purpose behind “never forget’” was not only to pay respect to the deaths of fellow Americans at the hands of terrorists, but also to protect ourselves from future strikes.