The Lesson of 9/11

The Shield's Co-Editor in Chief suggests that the younger generation needs more education on this tragic day in American history


Demi Cascio, Co-Editor in Chief

Eighteen years ago, New York, Washington D.C. and frankly, the entire nation, experienced one of the scariest and saddest days in American history. To anyone who was directly impacted by this tragedy, it was a day of grief, worry, anxiety, and in the worst case scenario, a day that led to the loss of a loved one. Telephone lines and the internet went down as friends and family were unable to connect with each other. For about 3,000 families, they will never be connected with these loved ones again on this earth.

First responders risked their lives.

Every-day office workers fled for their lives.

Desperate Americans jumped for their lives.

These people, as well as all others who were victims to this horrific terrorist attack, will be forever remembered. But how do we keep their memory in our hearts and minds for a generation that was born after these attacks?

The children born in 2002, a group that includes myself and many of my peers in the Class of 2020, grew up hearing stories, having family members share memories and even listening to eulogies. These children should learn enough about 9/11 to feel as if they lived through it themselves.

We have to make sure that young people all have a great deal of respect for the significance of 9/11. It has to be much more than just another story from history. Similar to the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, referred to by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a “day which will live in infamy,” students must learn all about what happened on 9/11. It can’t be viewed as an annoyance in school but rather as a day that impacted the entire nation in a way unlike any other event in American history.

My fear is that the heroic nature of so many on this day will be viewed as simply a boring video that students watch in class. The severity of the day’s events will be nonexistent to them. A study of social studies standards in all 50 states noted that 16 states have no mention of the 9/11 attacks in their curriculum guides. This needs to be addressed immediately. Lives have been forever changed and future Americans must understand the importance of this day.