Today is a new day

Holly New

We are a nation divided.

Class warfare, political warfare, racial warfare—every time we turn around, we are labeled and divided again. The upcoming election has divided us more than ever. We forget how much we have in common as humans, citizens and strangers.

Today is an important day. It is the 11th anniversary of the worst attack on this nation—Sept. 11. That Tuesday started as simply as today’s did. We were as separate as strangers could be. But at 8:46 a.m., our lives changed. When that first plane struck, our nation’s stability was questioned. By the time the second plane struck, we were fractured. The world watched as a symbol of prosperity, the Twin Towers, fell.

That day, we became united. American flags were nowhere to be found in the stores because everyone bought one. Every TV was on the same station; we all watched the same footage. We were united through mutual pain. That day, we were Americans first, strangers second.

I am part of a generation that does not remember that day. I learned about the tragedy in school as a piece of history; I don’t feel like it was something that I lived through. And in a way, many of us have forgotten that day.

Yes, we know about the event, and we certainly know how it has impacted us now, from airplane regulations to our involvement in multiple wars. However, we forget that almost 3,000 people died that day, and that many more died afterward from the smoke and the debris of the destroyed buildings. We forget the bravery that so many showed in times of unimaginable hardship, and we forget that we were united. We, as a nation, were one.

Today, 11 years later, we need to unite as survivors—survivors of the worst attack on our American soil, survivors of an era stained with fear and hate.

George Santayana once said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Today, on this very Tuesday, I ask you to remember the past, not so that we may repeat it, but so we might learn from it. We can stand united again. Our differences seem so trivial when we are connected by fear.

Today, let us connect by love. Today, let us connect as Americans. Today, let us stand united.