By Jackie Glosniak
October 2, 2013
As a senior in college, 12 years seems like a long time. Twelve years ago, Bush was first sworn into office, the first iPod was released on the market, and it was actually worth getting up on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons. Nineties kids were having the time of their lives and adults were excited to see what the 21st century would bring. It was a simpler time, when a smart phone didn’t consume everyone and Americans weren’t into the organic food craze. Simply put, living in 2001 was the year to be in.
But 12 years ago, two planes struck the World Trade Center, one crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in a Pennsylvania field, forever changing the world as we knew it. The events, which unfolded on Sept. 11, 2001, are undoubtedly the biggest memory any American can recall from 2001. Forget the excitement for a new century; the U.S. suddenly had terrorism and fear in its mind.
Twelve years later, how can we forget the tragedy of 9/11? Nearly 3,000 civilians were killed in the attacks, all innocent people who were going about their business and doing their jobs. Besides mourning the lives that were stolen from us, Americans now live in a world that is consumed by 24/7 surveillance, measures to prevent another 9/11 from happening.
Because of the magnitude of the events of 9/11, why would we not have any reason to reflect upon the day and what it means to America? The hours and days after the attacks truly defined what it meant to be an American, with people from all across the country giving their money, time and prayers to assist the victims of the day and their families. Flags were flown nearly everywhere and everyone was proud to display their patriotism for America. Twelve years later, where have all of those sentiments gone?
Too often, I hear backlash against the current administration and laws that continue to hold our country together as the best and strongest union in the entire world. Regardless of political affiliation, I believe that Americans still have so much to be proud of and should not be so quick to point fingers at public and private figures, blaming them for the nation’s troubles today. Today, I hear so many instances of college students protesting the wrongs in the nation regarding immigration, the war on terror and gay rights. While I do agree that the nation still has much to work on regarding the freedoms of some individuals, I also think that we should do more to celebrate what it means to be an American, including remembering those who have died for our country and those whose freedoms were stolen from them on that fateful September day.
At Dominican, I was disappointed to see that there were no publicized events regarding memorial services for 9/11 or meaningful campus-wide dialogues created for students to have a platform to discuss what it means to grow up in a world tainted by terrorism and fear stemming from 9/11. For a school that preaches fostering a just and humane world, it seemed as though the university ignored hosting events around the nature of the day, regarding both the history of the event as well as lecturing on what it means to live and work in the post-9/11 world.
Instead, Dominican scheduled a comedy show and displayed posters regarding an event in Chile from Sept. 11, 1973. While I think the comedy show was a good way to publicize the need to rid American sentiments of Islamophobia, I felt it was inappropriate to host any comedy show on a day that should be reserved for remembrance. Additionally, the university posted flyers in Lewis Hall that sparked questions about a 9/11 in Chile, that while important to learn about, did not happen on our soil or affect our every day lives.
While Dominican claimed it was purely a scheduling coincidence, should a comedy show occur on this day? Does Dominican need to question students on whether they remember another 9/11 and discuss what it still means for America today? While the day should not just be one of sadness, we should time to create meaningful dialogues on patriotism.
Dominican, as a Catholic institution, should have held a vigil and university-wide dialogue on campus. It may be hard to schedule an event that pleases the general public, but an event such as a comedy show should have been the last thing scheduled.
While I am a proud American and Dominican student, I am disappointed there was nothing done to reflect on what it means to be an American today. Twelve years ago may seem like a long time for a college student, but Sept. 11 is something that should never be forgotten. Such attitudes make me wonder what the university will do on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing?