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Lessons from the September 11 Attacks

Columnist Christine MacKenzie takes a look at how our perspective has changed in the years since the tragedy.

This week marks the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since the events of that tragic day. Whether or not you are a parent it’s difficult to look back at that day and not think about how it has changed the lives of children all over America. 

The reality is that, as Americans, we all lost something on September 11, 2001. Countless families suffered tragic and unexpected losses. Those who weren’t touched personally still looked on in horror as fellow Americans lost their lives to the most shocking terrorist attack to ever take place. Since that day two wars have followed and many more heroes have lost their lives protecting us and preserving our freedom.

The sad reality is that all Americans were attacked that day. Whether we lost loved ones or simply watched as the events unfolded September 11th will always be remembered as the day that America’s sense of security was stolen.

Few Americans can forget exactly where they were, who they were with and what they were doing when they first learned what was happening. Few parents will ever forget the fear they felt when they wondered how it would change the world their children were growing up in.

Out of the tragedy, however, came a renewed sense of patriotism and pride in our country. Without a doubt, seeing our way of life threatened truly did inspire Americans to take a step back and appreciate all that we have to be thankful for. Following the September 11th attacks flags flew high and Americans seemed prouder than ever before.

Now, eleven years later, it’s hard to say how much of that patriotism remains. Are we, as parents, still taking the time to remind our kids how lucky they are to be Americans? Are we still trying to pass on that same sense of pride that we were feeling in September of 2001.

The fact of the matter is that we shouldn’t need a tragedy to remind us to love our country. We shouldn’t have to lose lives before we think to say “Thank you” to the heroes who have stepped forward to serve and protect our nation.

Following the September 11 attacks the words “Never Forget” became commonplace. Today, as parents, it is our duty to remember those words and teach our children to take pride in their nation each and every day. It is our responsibility to make sure that, like us, our children never forget what happened on September 11, 2001 and always remember how precious freedom really is.     

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