In our opinion: 9/11 memorial will help us remember

We are told to never forget, but those born before the late ‘90s don’t have a story of when they first heard the news.

A fifth-grader today doesn’t remember being called to the television, or calling friends and family across the country, or walking around in a fog for the rest of that warm, blue-skied, beautiful day.

If we allow ourselves to remember correctly, we were afraid.

More than any single event, that day, the day that need not be mentioned, shaped the world we live in. And the generation of kids in middle school — soon high school, soon college — doesn’t know fear like we know. Regardless, the world they will inherit has that number written on every wall.

One day 9/11 will be something only grandparents remember firsthand, like the Great Depression. Then it will be little more than a chapter in a history book, a distant collection of dates and names. Then a section in a chapter, if they still use books then.

That’s why monuments, like the proposal from the 9/11 Memorial Committee to construct a memorial using steel beams salvaged from the World Trade Center, are important. And it’s why this community should find a place for it that is accessible and obvious. Long after we are gone, people should be made aware.

Not of the fear we felt that day, but of what many did in response, the rescuers.

The fear we felt they conquered.

That is what should not be forgotten.

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