America will never forget

9/11: Emotions still run high even after 12 years.


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Whether we were four or 40, I’m sure we can all recall something about that infamous day 12 years ago.

9/11 was one of the biggest national terrors our country has seen. Whether directly or not, we were all affected by it in some way.

I was in second grade. I remember lining up at the door with the rest of my class when our principal came in in tears and told our teacher to turn on the TV.

Since I was only about 7 or 8 years old at the time, I had no idea what any of this meant. I remember my family discussing it and hearing a lot about it, but as a naive child I didn’t fully grasp the severity of the situation. Twelve years later as a sophomore in college, I certainly understand the devastating toll it took on our country, which is why I am choosing to discuss it with you.

As a token of our thanks for those who fought that day, or even as a salute to those to died, I hope that we can all respond with some sort of remembrance.

If you have a family member or close friend who serves in the military, call them. Thank them for their service and bravery in keeping our country safe. Fly the American flag outside your house or post it as your profile picture for a day. If religion is your thing, then say a quick prayer for those who died or thank them for the gift of your own life.

Whether you want to celebrate the USA or not is up to you. I understand that we all have different views and opinions on the nation as a whole. However, this is about remembering and honoring those who either died to protect, died as a victim, or sacrificed for our nation that day.

Let’s do something to say “thank-you” to those people. Let’s remind ourselves how lucky or blessed we are to be here today — some aren’t that fortunate.

Take Danny Lewin for example.

He was supposedly the first victim to die on that fateful day 12 years ago. Lewin was on the first plane that crashed into the towers. He was sitting on seat 9B and according to the reports his death was brought on by a stabbing.

Supposedly he was a very brilliant man — a man who helped begin a successful company and loved math and the complexity of thinking. To me this man’s life is one reason to remember 9/11. If this doesn’t do it for you, then think of your own life.

How would your life be different if you had a family member die in 9/11? A boyfriend or girlfriend? A friend? What would your life be like now?

It’s things such as this that we should be pondering on national anniversaries like 9/11. To me it is bigger than a view of the U.S. or your opinion on politics. For just for a moment, disregard all the hype about Obama and Syria and the complexity of our nation’s politics. Temporarily forget about the “us vs. them” and the conflicts in the Middle East.

I’m talking about the moral issue at hand. We remove our hats and cover our hearts when we hear “The Star Spangled Banner” — we always should. We should because at the very least it should be a token of our gratitude and respect we have for the men and women that have given everything to protect us and our country. Even if we don’t agree with everything our nation stands for, it is still a place where we reside and where most of us call home.

So take this day to remember. Remember a victim, remember your own story, or just be thankful for your own life. Whatever it is you want to do to acknowledge the anniversary of 9/11, do it.

Be thankful you are here today, and give thanks to those who’ve sacrificed for it.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]

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