Honor fallen by remembering their sacrifice


photo or infographic by graphic by Rosalyn Gutierrez

The quote “No date shall erase you from the memory of time” by Virgil welcomes visitors as they enter the 9/11 museum in New York City. It is the perfect way to show the impact of the victim and survivors. It is such a simple way to show that America will never forget.

“Hey Jules, this is Brian. Ah, listen… I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked. If things don’t go well, and they’re not looking good, I want you to know that I absolutely love you. I want you to do good, have good times, same with my parents. I’ll see you when you get here. I want you to know that I totally love you. Bye, babe, hope I will call you.” 

-Brian Sweeney, passenger, United Airlines Flight 175, phone message to his wife Julie. 

Every year on Patriots Day the nation observes the tragedy that was September 11, 2001. It’s important to remember what happened on that day and how many lives that were lost. This is especially important for the younger generations because these people weren’t old enough to experience the attack first hand. As a nation we need to understand how Patriot’s Day is a time to honor the fallen and remember how Americans came together during the time of devastation.

On a Tuesday morning, 18 years ago, American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack on the Twin Towers was the worst in American history, with an estimated 2,977 people who died in the collapse of the towers, the crash in the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field. Of the victims, 412 of them were first responders. This day took many lives and became known as the deadliest day in history for U.S firefighters. About 45% of the on-duty staff of the FDNY (New York Fire Department) came to the aid of everyone in the World Trade Center. These men and women ran into a building with a plane in it, just minutes away from collapsing, without a second thought. They are an example of why we are the land of the free because of the brave.

Many families were left with a gaping hole after 9/11. It was just a regular day at work for both the victims and their families then their lives changed in an instant. From this tragic day, all should remember that life should not be taken for granted. There was no way anyone could have prepared for such a horrifying terrorist attack and known what was coming. Family and friends would love to have one more day with their loved ones. No one should take the important people in their lives for granted. A simple hug, a quick phone call and a simple happy note could mean so much and just take a moment of time. 

Just like after any tragedy, people come together to help pick up the pieces, but after September 11, it was on a different scale. People from all across the nation volunteered to help. many people decided to help out their country was by enlisting in the armed forces. Patrick Daniel Tillman was one of them. He played for the NFL, but then left his sports career to enlist in the Army in the aftermath of 9/11. Two years later he died in the service in Afghanistan. Schools also sent letters and drawings to the New Yorkers and their first responders, and there’s even a mural, hanging up in the September 11 Memorial and Museum, created for the people of New York by an art class from South Carolina. All of America came together, Republicans or Democrats. It didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was making the country safe again. Now, almost 20 years later, a lot of people have started to forget or have become desensitized to the thought of what happened. Politicians are at each other’s throats and the country is becoming more and more divided each day. Because people in the younger generations weren’t alive or don’t remember what it was like when the attack happened, it’s important that they understand the impact this event had on the world.

Young people need to remember 9/11 because of the widespread terror that was sent throughout the country that brought the people closer together and unified them. They need to remember the lives lost and to not take their own lives for granted. The 9/11 Museum in New York City features a quote by Virgil that expresses the feelings of Americans. “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”