Our View: 9/11 changes a generation, but it doesn’t change it all

As we approach 9/11, a sobering realization has complicated the remembrance of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil: this current cohort of college undergraduates bear little memory— if any— of that fateful day.

College seniors, most likely born in either 1994 or 1995, would have been in first grade. Some may remember leaving school early, or the panic-stricken reactions to the attacks. But none of us understood the power and breadth of impact the day would have on our generation.

The events that shaped our parents’ generation were drastically different. Vietnam, Watergate and the Cold War cultivated self-reliance and a distrust of government absent in preceding generations.

9/11 ushered in anxiety in the midst of an increasingly connected world. As Millennials begin navigating an era defined by globalization, the fear instilled by the 9/11 attacks and the development of lone-wolf terrorism continues to fester.

Fifteen years after the attacks, security across the country has heightened, debates rage over how to keep U.S. citizens safe and talks of walls and deportations have suggested support for isolationist ideals.

Regardless of how baby boomer politicians choose to confront an ever-complicated political sphere, one thing is clear: in the modern world, Millennials must continually ride the promise of globalization.

Remembering 9/11 is achieved through recreating the unity and empathy that helped the U.S. recover from those tumultuous times. As Millennials, we’re responsible for carrying the words of former President George W. Bush into our future:

“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

Remembering 9/11 does not require remembering where you were or the emotions that overtook you that morning.

For Millennials, remembering 9/11 will mean preserving the American resolve mentioned by Bush, and facing an uncertain future head-on while proactively confronting the new challenges that are presented at personal, national and global scales.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board.