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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sitting quietly in biology class, my eyes were transfixed on the screen in front of me.

Less than 25 miles away, the world was changing forever.

As the 7th anniversary of the tragic day is upon us, I offer my petition to make Sept. 11 a national holiday.

Nothing should take precedence over staying cognizant of what disrupted American life as we knew it, remembering those who lost their lives and commemorating individuals who saved others.

Designating Sept. 11 a holiday is not about barbecues or shopping, parades or fireworks, but solemn reflection on what transpired that fateful day.

We remember a stoic New York City mayor who remained steadfast to the masses left awestruck by the events of the day.

We recall the bravery exhibited in the final moments of life by the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, disrupting the intentions of terrorists and preventing even more destruction.

And we certainly celebrate the uniformed men and women who so strongly embodied the characteristics of the word "selflessness," laying down their lives in pursuit of helping others.

You may ask why we would want to "celebrate" a day that has arguably put America in the predicament it currently faces.

To say we live in trying economic times would be an understatement. Jobs appear to be nonexistent and foreclosures on homes run rampant. We don't believe in the war, and we don't believe in our president. Morale is low.

If we can take one positive thing from Sept. 11, perhaps we can look to the widespread patriotism exhibited by Americans across the country. You couldn't drive down a street without seeing a flag waving in the wind or spot a bumper sticker proudly declaring, "These colors don't run."

Designating Sept. 11 as a national holiday could only help to renew a sense of pride that we so desperately need. As a defining event in the lives of so many, not making it a holiday would be a huge disservice because the event remains so much a part of our lives.

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We continue to fight a war waged in response to the events that took place.

We see a nation preparing to decide on someone to replace an unpopular president, albeit one who led the country through such a trying event.

We demonstrate our resiliency by erecting the first steel column of the Sept. 11 memorial in the footprint of the World Trade Center.

Even with these constant reminders, I wonder if we have begun to forget Sept. 11.

Our generation cannot allow Sept. 11 to become the next Pearl Harbor, a defining event of our grandparents' generation that now fails to raise consciousness every Dec. 7. We must not let our awareness of 9/11 in American history disappear, becoming but a blip on the calendar.

Republican or Democrat, black or white, holiday or not, today we honor the lives of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

Daniel Seco is a first year journalism graduate student.

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