Our View: Remember through actions

DKS Editors

On a cloudless, sparkling Tuesday eight years ago, 19 hijackers changed the course of American history. The United States was no longer invincible.

Sept. 11 brought terror to our doorsteps, the first attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor 60 years prior. At the time, most of us were in middle school, and freshmen were fifth-graders.

We were young, but we remember. We remember the teacher who broke the news. We remember the panic in adults’ faces. We remember the long lines at gas stations – the sense of uncertainty embracing our shell-shocked and mourning country.

And yet, the American media blast society with messages reminding us to “never forget” the dividing point in our lifetime’s history on this day. It’s important to remember the thousands of innocent people who lost their lives in the Twin Towers, in the Pentagon and aboard the four hijacked planes – and the bravery and sacrifice made by firefighters and emergency crew workers.

But “never forget” is a hollow phrase if it exists without any action behind it. Sept. 11 illustrated our country’s willingness to band together, but it also manifested a greater division between our country and the Islamic faith, resulting in racial profiling at airports, mosque attacks and other deplorable acts based on fear.

If Sept. 11 taught us anything, though, it’s the need for humanity. We witnessed it during those scary days immediately after the attacks: firefighters tirelessly looking for survivors, leaders comforting ordinary citizens, strangers giving each other hugs.

Our generation has proven to be the most tolerant, so as we never forget Sept. 11, let’s help mend past wounds. Get to know people of different faiths. Take world history courses. Volunteer for organizations aimed at helping people at home and abroad.

The terrorists intended to divide us from the world. Instead, that tragic day eight years ago should serve as a constant reminder of our commitment to the world.

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