What Does it Mean to “Never Forget”?

Everywhere you look people are saying and posting the words “Never Forget.” But, what exactly does that mean? It is important to delve deeper into what the process of remembering entails and its significance today.

Sept. 11, 2001 is a day that most Americans recall very vividly. Students remember being sent home from school early and watching the television for hours. Many adults remember calling loved ones to see if they were okay. People remember the confusion, the anger, the shock, and the tears. Everyone has their own memories and we all process them in different ways.

This tragedy hits home for many students, faculty, and staff. Twenty Manhattan College alumni died that day. And, while not everyone may be able to fathom what it is like to lose a loved one. We can comfort others and listen.

To remember means to recall that day, exactly as it played out. It means to listen and share stories. It means to be forever grateful for those victims and survivors of the event. Most importantly, it means to relive that day so that it never becomes just another event in the history books. Essentially, the significance of remembering is done in order to keep the event close to our hearts.

The attack is a very scary thing to think about and it is hard to fathom that there are heartless people in the world whose main goal is to cause terror.

But, remembering does not mean that we have to live in fear: Why give terrorists what they want? Remembering also means recognizing the heroic acts of love performed on that day. The bravery of the firefighters, policemen and women, and countless volunteers who helped save lives is something for which Americans are grateful.

The way that Americans band together in times of need is something for which we are proud of. We embody a nation full of people willing to risk their lives everyday to keep us safe.

Yes, we are proud to be American. That is something to remember. That is something I will never forget. Instead of fear, choose to be reverent of the people who lost their lives and choose to be proud that we live in a nation full of everyday heroes.

So, replay what happed that day and share your stories. Cry if you need. Let it all out. Go to the 9/11 memorial. Learn more about that day. Whatever you do, always keep this day close to your heart. Remembering will always be relevant. Remembering is what makes us American.