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9/11 more than two decades hence

Students reflect on history
At the base of the Twin Towers, firefighters raise the flag right after the attacks

The September 11th terrorist attacks were a significant tragic milestone in our nation’s history. But like me and every other student in my school we were not alive to see the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, unfold.

So therefore we offer a different perspective, a window into the feelings of a generation of children born post-9/11.

I was born five years after the tragic events took place, and as a result of this, my opinions are inherently less strong and emotional as they would have been if I was alive and suffered the live point of view caused by this disaster. I can only experience second-hand emotions and trauma provided by first-hand accounts, testimonies, and videos.

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  • Before, the Twin Towers were an iconic part of the NYC skyline (AP News)

  • During the attack, the terror was almost unreal (AP News)

  • The current memorial stands at the former site of the Twin Towers (AP News)

  • Two lights light up the sky in remembrance (AP News)

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I see the event as a horrible attack on America and the purity of the world and society. This event changed the world in many ways, from the hate it uncovered to the unifying factor that was created as the nation bounced back from one of its darkest days. 

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This is my understanding of an event that occurred more than two decades ago. I think many people can trace the events of that day to the day the United States of America lost most of its innocence. This event set off the world into a frenzy of many emotions, the majority of those feelings valid. 

But from this disaster arose different types of emotions, the rise in islamophobia.  Islamic assaults went up 67%, and even in 2017 75% percent of the Muslim faith reported that America was hard to live in due to racial or Islamophobic-related concerns. Our society generalizes members of Middle Eastern religions as bad and dangerous people, the majority of whom are peaceful good citizens of their country. 

I end my reflection by taking a moment to remember the 2,996, brave innocent American heroes who lost their lives to senseless violence. I also want to hope for a bigger and brighter future in America and a future in which everyone is respected and included regardless of race, sex, or religion. 

SuttonHighNews staff reflections:

Will Sawicki: 9/11 devastated thousands of citizens across the U.S. To many, it is something long ago, but it should not be forgotten. Although none of us in the class of 2024 lived through the attacks, we can still honor those who lost their lives that day. 

Marina Astrella:  The impacting date of 9/11 is one that does not go without remembrance each year, even by those including myself who were not yet born. We honor those who lost their lives by providing our time and attention to learn about the profound sacrifices made in order to help.

Hunter Miller: 9/11 was a very tragic event that affected millions of people. I wasn’t alive when it happened but I understand the effect it left on many people and I understand why we should always remember the people that lost their lives that day and to never forget about 9/11.

Ryan Doolin: 9/11 was a very tragic day in American history affecting Americans everywhere. Even though I was not alive to witness the events of this tragedy, many people like me who were not around for it remember those lost and will feel the long lasting effects for the rest of our lives.

Abrielle Choma: To me, 911 is a tragedy that I feel I cannot fully grieve for. I was born about four years after the event and have respectfully recognized this date for as long as I can remember. Even though I was not present, that doesn’t mean I don’t honor the ones who lost their lives. 

Jahaira Castillo: 9/11 was a tragic event that affected not only the people who were involved in this tragedy but the people who know about it. Even if you weren’t born when 9/11 occurred, we all should cherish and remember those who died and put their life before others to save the life of other people. 

Elizabeth Reid-Ericksen:  The attack on 9/11 inflicted a devastating emotional toll on all Americans. It is a powerful memory, but only adults are old enough to remember it. Even those who are born after, such as myself, still honor those who lost their lives or have been greatly affected. Although I can never fully understand the emotional impact of those who have lived through the attacks, it is important to never forget all the loved ones that we have lost.

Alexis Gemme: 9/11 was a very eventful disaster that happened in 2001, for me I can not understand with full affection how anyone was feeling on that day because I was not born. Even as a highschooler I can still realize what happened and it makes me think that no matter who you are, or how old you may be, it needs to be known. People should never forget all the lost loved ones, and we should all honor the people who risked it all to go and save someone else. 

Gwyneth Johnson: The 9/11 attack was a devastating disaster that impacted many in 2001. Though for me the attack is different as I was not born yet, and thus, can not feel how others felt that day. As we remember the lives that were lost, they live on through everyone that honors them. Laws and regulations now protect many because of them, and there we shall be forever grateful. 

Phil Ostrowski: The 9/11 attacks on America will forever impact the way we live today, and our future. I never experienced it firsthand, but the stories from loved ones and friends show just how awful that day was. Everyone experienced it differently, but I think it means the same to all. To me, it’s an important moment in time, and should never be forgotten. Every measure should be taken to prevent such a tragedy to ever occur again. Peace to all that are no longer with us today.

Ana Sarsfield: To me, 9/11 is an important part of our history. Although I don’t have an emotional connection to it because I wasn’t born yet and didn’t lose a loved one, I still know how much it impacted America. 

Ken Branowicki: September 11, 2001 was a very devastating day, and changed the lives of millions of people to this day. I was not alive during this time but I still understand that 9/11 is something that should not be forgotten. We can still see the effects of 9/11 to this day and I think that it is important to teach people and look back on it every year to honor and respect all of those that were affected.

Abby Coulter: “Having not been alive to experience the event that changed the country forever, 9/11 is just a day of remembrance to me. It’s a reminder of the sudden solidarity the country experienced, and the reason behind the security we have keeping us safe today.”

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  • Alfred, Grade 12: “I think it’s a change in American history. It definitely impacted the lives of all Americans alive during that time. It’s important to commemorate this moment, and remember those who lost their lives.”

  • Amsden, Grade 11: “To me, 9/11 means the impact of safety as I go through the airport security thinking about what that day gave me. Being not alive during then, the commemoration day for me allows for all of us to appreciate the lives that were lost to remind us of how dangerous the world can be, and how we can move forward protecting ourselves and others. May they never be forgotten in laws and through everyone that witnesses the unification for the fallen.”

  • Julia, Grade 9: “9/11 was a really big event in our history because it influenced so many national security problems and caused people to be mistrusting with different groups of people. Overall it was a sad and terrible event.”

  • Kassius, Grade 11: “It was a real tragic event and I wish it never happened but it did make the world a safer place and we will always mourn those who perished on that fateful day.”

  • Katie, Grade 12: “Compared to the people that remember it happening, it doesn’t mean much to me. 9/11, to me, seemed like a turning point where the US turned to focus more on defense.”

  • Lyla, Grade 9: “I think that 9/11 was a very traumatic event for many citizens across the US because it’s the day that many lost a loved one. Even though I wasn’t born, I can tell from a lot of pictures and articles that it was a very devastating event and it took America a while to heal.”

  • Madison, Grade 12: “It doesnt have that direct impact on me when the day comes around, But we learn about it in school every year and I really feel for all the first responders and families that were involved”

  • Marcos, Grade 12: “It’s a very sad moment, I wasn’t alive back then but the history lives on and we’ll forever remember the losses we had.”

  • We lean a lot about the significance of the date and of peoples lives that were lost and the sacrifices made because I wasn’t born before that time

  • Nathan, Grade 11: “Honestly, I think it’s a really sad point in history that many people were faced with having to jump out of the buildings or to meet their fate with the building collapsing and setting on fire. It was a pretty tragic day, I wasn’t alive for it but I know people who were and a lot of people are scared from it.”

  • Vivien, Grade 9: “9/11 represents a turning point in our nation’s history. All generations must understand, so we can connect and honor the loved ones we lost. It is the day that we must try to comprehend what so many people experienced and take moments to appreciate how far we have come.”

  • Janyah, Grade 12: “9/11 is an important factor in our history but because i wasn’t alive when it happened i don’t really have a connection to it but i do recognize the effect it had and still has on America.”

  • “It makes me appreciate my country and the people that fight for us every day, and those who put their lives on the line for us.”

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About the Contributor
Matthew Gemme
Matthew Gemme, Staff Reporter
I am a junior at Sutton. That is all you get.

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