OpEd: Have we forgotten?

Couple stands under an umbrella at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan in New York“Never forget.” Every year we rally around these simple words to show our support for the thousands of innocent civilians, first responders, and military personnel who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

We all remember where we were when we first heard the news. I remember watching the TV with my mom as we saw the second plane strike the South tower, and eventually saw both of the towers fall. I remember not knowing when my dad would come home. I remember seeing helpless mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters falling from the towers on live TV to escape the fires. We all have our stories from that day, and we all have memories that will come back year after year as we relive the pain from the tragedy.

Over the past 14 years we have seen our country undergo dramatic changes. What began as a time of unity across the nation has turned into a war against an enemy we cannot easily track. The scope of our involvement in the War on Terror has become a blurred conception of what was once a just cause. Unfortunately, what once was a day of somber remembrance has become a mere afterthought for many. There are many who still take the time to honor the fallen. There are the men and women who serve as our first responders, the citizens who honor those lost by lowering their flags to half-staff, and those who take the time to honor with a moment of silence. Unfortunately, in many instances, the duty to perform these acts has now fallen on individuals themselves.

Over the course of my time here at R-MC, there has not even been an email sent out reminding the student body and college faculty about the sacrifices made on September 11, 2001. Personally, I am disheartened at the lack of institutional support that has been shown in regards to the tragedy of 9/11, and the lack of any attempt to honor those who lost their lives both in the line of duty and as bystanders. This is not to say that individuals and groups on campus have not done their fair share to observe the tragic event. However, the lack of even an official schoolwide email gives the impression that, as an institution, we believe 9/11 to be irrelevant to our daily lives.

These are simply my opinions and I have done nothing but enjoy my experience here at R-MC. However, as a member of the volunteer fire department, having lived in Spiritual Healing: Washington, D.C. during the attacks, and by simply having pride in my country, I am offended and upset that our administration sent out countless emails on 9/11 throughout the past four years, and not a single one ever mentioned or honored the fact that over 3,000 civilians, including firefighters, police officers, EMS personnel, and military personnel, never returned home on that same date in 2001.

 

-Sonny Murphy ’16, Contributing Writer

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