Remembering 9/11 Twenty Years Later

September 11, 2001.  Like many, I have a clear memory of that fateful morning. I was living in Berkeley, up early with the news on. I watched the replays of what I first thought was a crash, and then came to realize was an attack. Horrified, I gathered family around, as if being together would make us safer in a newly dangerous world.

At Wesleyan at the time, and all around the country, there was shock. How could this happen? Then came years of mourning, commemoration and efforts to remember the thousands who died at their desks, in elevators, on stairs, some heading up heroically to save as many people as possible. The photographs of those stunned first responders still make me shudder. Such sadness. We do our best to remember them.

We also remember the series of wars that were unleashed by the attacks of 9/11. The lies that led to the Iraq war, the hopes that many had of defending freedom, the slowly unfolding debacle in Afghanistan…torture, errant drone strikes, deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians over the last 20 years. What would it mean to do our best to remember all those victims?

For me, this sad anniversary is an occasion for piety, and I take some consolation in communal remembrance. Going forward, I’d like to think that by discovering ways of joining with others to provide security without making war, we are doing our best to remember all the victims of 9/11 and its aftermath.

1 thought on “Remembering 9/11 Twenty Years Later”

  1. Really? Why politicize this. Today is not about the subsequent actions after 9/11. It is about honoring those who lost their lives to terrorists. My son who is a student at Wes was lucky his father came home that day. Like the 3000 people murdered that day, Justin’s father woke up, kissed us goodbye and hopped on a ferry to his job in lower Manhattan. My husband was there, he worked in lower Manhattan and saw the first plane hit the building. Then the second plane. Then he witnessed unspeakable things that to this day haunt him. To this day, I can still see him as he walked into our home 18 hours after he left for work. He was covered in gray dust from witnessing the buildings falling. We were one of the lucky families. Today, where we live in New Jersey, we have so many friends and neighbors whose lives took a tragic turn that day because their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and friends woke up and went to work that morning. This is not about what you think and Afghanistan. It is an American tragedy. So many innocent people’s lives were and still are affected by this….20 years later.

    Why not have a conversation with the students and alumni who lost loved ones that day to see how 20 years later a terrorist attack on our country affected them. WE WILL NEVER FORGET. God Bless America.

    Let us know when the 9/11 vigil will be at Wes. You should be honoring the fallen.

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