By Brandi Makuski
September 11 is a hard day for a lot of people.
Even if they don’t know anyone who was killed in the terrorist attacks 19 years ago, it’s still a day of great sadness for many. For those of us old enough to remember watching the planes strike those buildings, it’s something we’ll never forget. We can describe our exact circumstances of that entire day, and likely, will always be able to.
But today, we’re raising a generation of young people who were not yet born on 9/11. An entire generation with no idea what life was like before nearly 3,000 of their countrymen and women were killed by a group of terrorists who didn’t agree with what America stood for.
They didn’t agree. They were offended by our country’s way of life. So they attacked us.
That’s an important piece to remember. While we’ve always had some sense of political divisiveness in our country, in recent months it seems worse than any point in most of our lifetimes. Violent opposition to President Trump—or intense opposition to those who oppose him. Facebook memes reducing one political party’s dogma down to a single vulgar phrase. Black Lives Matter protests turning into riots, destroying businesses and households that our fellow countrymen built from the ground up. Vandalism, namecalling, and fistfights over a silly mask mandate.
On this day more than any other, let there be no black or white. Let there be no Democrats or Republicans. Let there be no anger over the Black Lives Matter movement. Let the disputes about COVID, masks, and quarantines, disappear today.
Today, we’re all just Americans.
Today is not about our petty differences. Today is about remembering what happened 19 years ago. Today is about teaching our children to honor and respect those who died—and those who survived the attacks.
Teach your children about what happened on this day. Watch the video footage of the events that unfolded, live on television, 19 years ago; watch it together, and place it into context. Explain to your children, and remind yourselves, that we can find other ways to work out our differences than with the anger and hate that has been surrounding us in recent months.
We use the mantra, “Never Forget,” on this day. We should also never forget how America was before the attacks. Our children deserve to know it can be different.