Honoring sacrifices by remembering Sept. 11, 2001

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2011

For our special coverage of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, city editor Neal Wagner spent a few hours driving around the county, getting comments from county citizens on what they remembered about that infamous day.

Our country lost a lot of its innocence that day, and the comments Wagner gathered reflect that.

Several citizens spoke of being so young they didn’t realize what was happening, but understanding innately something was terribly wrong.

For example, Helena’s Kyle Stringer, like so many of us, will always associate that day with arriving home from school to find his mother in tears.

It’s hard for us to grasp that it has been a decade since the events of that day.

So much has happened in that time. Our country has seen years of war, more acts of terrorism and a sense of wariness we never had before 9/11.

Nothing brings it home more than realizing today’s fifth-graders have never known an America with the World Trade Center’s twin towers still standing.

That’s why it’s so important to remember. As much as we may want to leave that day’s events behind, we can’t afford to forget.

9/11 changed the way all of us view the world — for better and for worse. We’ve spent a decade trying to recover from the losses suffered, but we’ve also spent a decade better appreciating the sacrifices of our public servants.

As Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos said, “Just like Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor, there are some things this country never needs to forget.” Even though many of us weren’t alive for Pearl Harbor, we continue to recognize the importance of that day.

We hope the generations ahead of us will do the same for 9/11.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.