Cannot, will not, ever forget

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I think the world wants us to move on. 9/11/2001 is history. Nothing to see here any more.

I am sorry. I cannot and will not forget. Neither will most of America.

Although we were 225 years old back then, we were still young and naive. The world was changing around us. It had become more ruthless, more dangerous. Yet we continued to live our lives as before, blissfully unaware of the evil that was approaching our shores.

We cannot shake the horror of the day, and the anguish with which we watched innocent people – people who had made the fatal decision to simply go to work that day – jump from buildings a quarter of a mile high, or be crushed under tons of debris as the towers collapsed. We dared not put ourselves in the minds of those on the planes themselves as they careened toward certain doom. We heard of Shipmates who were killed when the Pentagon was hit, and our hearts broke.

Our thoughts turned from shock to fear to sadness. Then to anger. And then to resolve. We went to war to protect the homeland and take it to the bad guys.

Today, a new building stands in the place of the original twin towers. It is called the World Trade Center again, and it is higher. It is America’s way of showing that while we may be staggered when hit with a punch, we will not falter, and we certainly will not retreat. The new building’s height: 1776 feet.

OneWorldTradeCenter
(Photo by Joe Mabel)

We are older and a little wiser now, and after more than a decade of war we look at the world through a different lense. We are angrier than we used to be, and more wary. But we are still Americans, and no matter how painful the memories, we will force ourselves to revisit them over and over again.

This, I think, is how many of us feel now.

No, we won’t forget. Not ever.

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