The Lifetime of a Tragedy

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opinion of: DAVEN ROBERTS

A realization of the importance of remembering and recognizing tragedies, especially as time passes

Seventeen years. That’s how old I am. That’s also how long ago 9/11 happened. Though 17 years is a lifetime for me, it should not be the lifetime of a tragedy.
I was a month and half when the twin towers were struck and I remember nothing. I was told I was napping. My two older sisters were 5 and 6 and they remember. Kendall can remember the exact “Blues Clues” episode she was watching and Kaley remembers exactly what she was coloring when my mom called her out of first grade.
My older sisters talked about 9/11 every year that they were in school. They elongated the moment of silence and took time to talk about the attack in most classes. I did this as  well.
Until this year.
This year I didn’t even recognize the significance of the date until I wrote it out in C Block Stats class. I had watched NBC for 15 minutes that day and talked about news articles in AP Lang that morning and nobody mentioned it. At the soccer game and in my neighborhood, the flags flew at full mast. As an individual, as a class, as a school, and even as a nation, we forgot.
There is other pressing news to cover currently and I’m sure not everyone let the date slip their mind. I simply found it off putting that after 16 years of recognition, year 17 was different.
Some would argue we can’t pause for every tragedy that happens in our country.
I would argue that taking the time to recognize the importance of 9/11 and to explain its impact is only becoming more necessary. We are hitting a point when seniors in high school do not remember the day, so we need to be taught how to properly recognize it. It is much easier for the event to slip my mind then it is for it to slip the minds of my sisters, but as a nation it is our responsibility to remember.
The Parkland shooting happened February 14, 2018. Right now, nobody can forget it, and nobody wants to. Those who have seen, not only the tragedy but the impact of it, realize the importance of the wave of heightened protest it has brought. In 2035, 17 years from now, seniors in high school won’t remember the Parkland Shooting. In 2035 people need to be just motivated to recognize the importance of this national disaster as we are now. That is our responsibility.
As it becomes easier to forget it needs to become harder to ignore.
These moments in American history changed our nation. The sadness and pain of the moment, and the strength and national pride that came in our responses can not be forgotten.
The lifetime of a tragedy can not be 17  years.

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