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Too young to remember

Zoe Haggard
Posted 9/10/22

No, I don’t remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001.  

 But that doesn’t stop me from trying to understand and “remember” through other peoples’ …

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Too young to remember


No, I don’t remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001.  

 But that doesn’t stop me from trying to understand and “remember” through other peoples’ perspective.  

 I’m part of that generation that has no memory of it. When that terrorist attack happened, I was just under two years old. Any friends I have that are a couple years older than me vaguely (and I emphasize vaguely) remember their mom coming to pick them up early from daycare or maybe their teacher rolling in a TV to watch news coverage. 

 When I think of 9-11, I always remember being about 6 years old and watching the news re-run footage of that fateful day several years later. Watching it in those days, I had no concept of what happened—that it was an attack on our country. I only remember seeing buildings burn and people falling or jumping from them. It was also several years later when I understood that they also attacked the Pentagon in Washington.   

 It was a gradual understanding of what exactly happened that day. It wasn’t until middle school (around 2011) that I was fully taught the timeline. And it wasn’t until college (around 2021), in my national security class, that I was taught all the conspiracies and controversies surrounding that day.  

 But all that doesn’t amount to what people who actually witnessed that day understand. I feel there is and will always be a disconnect between those who remember and those who don’t. Several times before, when I tell someone I don’t remember that day, they refrain from telling me what all they remember because they assume I won’t understand, or they think I don’t care. 

 And that frustrates me.  

 I remember walking around the MTSU campus on one Sept. 11 and overhearing two students talking. One said, “I don’t know why we make a big deal out of it still. People died. Let’s move on.” 

 I was stunned. And it should be all the more reason why those who remember and those who don’t should work together to help each other remember. 

 I’m always think of Baby Boomer’s who don’t remember the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entering World War II. But their parents remember. Their parents remember sitting around the radio, holding their breath and they remember when everyday life halted as men by the thousands signed up the next day. 

 Even though many of our parents or grandparents don’t remember that time 80 years ago, they keep the memory alive—retelling stories of their mothers crying as their father’s walked to the recruitment stations. 

 So, I won’t stop trying to remember 9-11. I know too many young men who signed up to serve this country because of the events of 9-11—because they remember watching the scenes of the day when they were in middle school. It impressed them that we are not as safe as we thought. That we needed protection. And they were willing to stand on the front lines.  

 No, I don’t remember. But I will understand to the best of my ability. And I will try to pass it on to my children. Though they will be as far removed from it as we are today from the start of World Ward II, we will try.  

 In that way, we will never forget.