• Cypress Bay High School - Weston, FL
  • July 16, 2020

Sept. 11, 2016 was a day similar to many others in the 15 years since the horrific terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. A day involving Americans coming together to mourn the loss of our citizens to terrorism. Although Sept. 11 used to be a sorrowful holiday to feel grief for all those who suffered 15 years ago, this day of remembrance simply does not mean as much to Americans anymore.

Terrorism has become a more and more threatening affair around the world. On Sept. 11, 2001, the hijacked airplanes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City marked the beginning of an era of unrest in the U.S. and around the world regarding terrorism. According to Uri Friedman from The Atlantic, reports of terrorist attacks from extremist groups such as I.S.I.S. and Al Qaeda are becoming more and more common around the globe. It seems that at least once a month there is news of another awful attack shaking the foundations of our nation. In the past year, France has been hit with two terrible terrorist attacks including the suicide bombings and hostage shootings in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, as well as an attack in Nice on July 14, 2016, where a truck driver ran over innocent people who were celebrating Bastille Day. It is hard for us as Americans to feel as much pain on Sept. 11 when remembering the attacks that happened 15 years ago, because similarly awful terrorist attacks are occurring in the present.

Sept. 11 does not even have the same significance in the minds of the new generation of Americans anymore. In schools, students in ninth grade and below are learning about the attacks on Sept. 11 as a historical event and not as a horrific memory in their lifetime. Many of these kids do not even know what life is like without constant terrorism. Even in our own country there have been recent school shootings such as Sandy Hook as well as another shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. and one at an office holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif. These random attacks on citizens in the U.S. have caused what seems like an everyday sadness, which make annual remembrance days such Sept. 11 less and less unique.

Besides an increased number of the terrorist attacks themselves, another issue concerning 9/11 is that Americans are lacking the sense of unity that we possessed 15 years ago. With technology getting better and more social media sites being readily used, most Americans showed their lament toward Sept. 11 on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook or by tuning into their TVs to watch a broadcasted 9/11 ceremony. This year compared to years past, fewer Americans made the effort to bond with their neighbors and fellow Americans or come together as one nation to contradict the evil of these terrorist attacks. The headlines of the 15th anniversary celebration were not even of mourning the attacks, but instead on our current presidential election. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton abruptly left the memorial ceremony at the 9/11 memorial site in New York City claiming of sickness and overheating. These headlines can be seen in credible news sites such as The New York Times, CNN and NBC News. It seems that more news articles and coverage were given to Clinton on Sept. 11, 2016 than about the actual terrorist attacks themselves.

The motives and feelings of Americans have simply changed over the past 15 years and our ideals have morphed alongside our emotions and the constant sadness that terrorism that leaves as a black cloud over our nation. Sept. 11 will always be an important date in American history, but it has certainly lost its meaning as unique day of mourning the effects terrorism.