We have carried the torch. We have rebuilt. And we have done what we said we never would: we have forgotten.
Today, on the 19th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, the internet and news channels will be filled with retrospectives on the day we all watched in horror as multiple attacks on American soil played out simultaneously – the most noteworthy of which were the images of full sized passenger planes piercing the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. The flames rose. People jumped to escape the inferno. And then, the unthinkable, as the towers fell, one by one, collapsing from their soaring heights above the world’s most famous skyline into a dark, nightmarish cloud of smoke and debris, taking the lives of all those who remained within them.
Nearly 3,000 Americans died in the attacks on that day. And the mantra that sprang up like a chorus: “Never forget,” seemed almost superfluous. Who could ever forget what they saw? Who could ever forget the shattering of our sense of safety, security, and normalcy, or the realization that our seemingly invincible nation was in fact terribly vulnerable. For those who lost friends, co-workers, or family, how could the gaping hole left by their loss ever be forgotten?