For 19 years – ever since that dreadful Tuesday morning when terrorists attacked America on our own soil – we’ve marked each anniversary with the words Never Forget.
That phrase takes you back to exactly where you were on September 11, 2001.
You can remember the horrific images on your TV. You can still feel the tension in your stomach and jaw. You truly will never forget the fear that coursed through your veins every time you think back to that terrible day. The shock. The uncertainty. The anger. The sadness.
Now, 20 years later, the world that we know is so much different than it was on September 10, 2001. An entire generation has now grown up in a “Post 9/11 World.” Keep in mind that many of today’s college students weren’t even born that day. With that startling reality in mind, so many are searching for new ways to help current and future generations understand the magnitude of that Tuesday that shook us to our core and changed America forever.
On this 20th anniversary, perhaps the time has come for us to reframe the mental and emotional construct that has helped us view that day. Instead of the negative connotation that we’ve carried in the phrase Never Forget, now is the perfect time for us to raise up a Next American Generation that will Always Remember.
We must teach them to Remember that our freedoms aren’t free. We must teach them to Remember the sacrifice of the brave men and women who gave their lives running into the burning World Trade Centers, who rescued countless military personnel at the Pentagon, and who decreed “Let’s roll” as they overtook Flight 93 and died as heroes in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
We must give hope to the America of tomorrow by Remembering what happened on that Tuesday morning and who it made us to be.
September 11th cannot be another date on the calendar.
Much like Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th, 1941 became another passed-by marker in American history, we must be vigilant to ensure that we Always Remember 9/11.
You can do this by sharing your “story” with friends and family. As the students at Bob Jones University in Greenville did, you can plant American flags to remember the 2,977 souls that were taken from us that day. You can take your children and grandchildren to a prayer service at your church to commemorate the day.
No matter what we say or do this weekend to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we must instill the passion in ours and the next generation to Always Remember.
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