One day I want to publish a book of interviews and memoirs about 9-11-01. The title would be "Don't Dwell, But Never Forget" after a piece of advice from one of my old teachers on the topic of 9/11. One of the chapters in the book would include this, a journal entry I wrote in the eighth grade, for the prompt "Why should we remember 9/11?"
It is important to remember the events of September 11, 2001, as a reminder that terrorism does not only happen in other countries, which seemed to be the case before the attacks. It awoke us to the actuality that a terror attack can happen anywhere, anytime – including here and now.
The attacks also reminded us of how fortunate we are to live in a country that is, in general, pretty safe, and that we also should do our best to keep it that way. And we did: President Bush made the War on Terrorism one of his top priorities, airport security is tighter, and schools have frequent fire drills.
The point of terrorism is, generally, to make people afraid. In some small ways, the people who hijacked those planes succeeded. But in several bigger ways, they failed. They convinced us to stand united with each other and our allies. They reminded us of the horror and pointlessness of violence, so hopefully this generation won't use it in the future. In this way, the attacks are sort of like the Holocaust: "It's important to remember it … so that it doesn't happen again."
The last line, I got from a BrainPop movie about the Holocaust; unfortunately I can't put the link in.