More than just flags: a call to always remember

Photo courtesy of Xavier College Republicans Twitter | The views expressed in the following article are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Newswire staff as a whole.

Every year at Xavier the political clubs come together to remember an event that radically changed this country. It’ll be 17 years next Tuesday since four hijacked planes aimed to crash into major centers for U.S. commerce and government with the goal of crippling our country.

September 11, 2001, is a day that will ring clear in the memories of those who experienced it. Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing, watching in horror as the World Trade Center collapsed from the impact of two planes. Another plane hit the Pentagon, while the last one was meant for the White House. That fourth and final plane was diverted by brave souls who charged the cockpit and crash-landed in a Pennsylvania field. Thousands perished that day, and many have perished since because of the catastrophe.

The political clubs on campus put out flags to commemorate and honor those who willingly and unwillingly gave their lives on that day. There is a flag planted for every life lost, and each flag has attached to it a name and a family who were affected by the loss of a loved one.

These flags are tributes to the fallen, to the sacrifice of ordinary Americans and the extraordinary patriots who sacrificed themselves for others. We dedicate them to the true American heroes we lost that day. We do this in remembrance of them. We must never forget that day, what it means and what it demands of us. It was a day when Americans of all different backgrounds and creeds came together to aid in an emergency. We helped each other regardless of our differences, and we came out strong.

It is important that we never forget those we lost that day, but it is also crucial that we never forget how it brought us closer together, bonded us and strengthened our American ethics. It is also important to remember and bring awareness, as the next generation of students at Xavier are not old enough to recall the tragedy and the anguish we feel through its grim memories.

So, this coming Tuesday you will see more than 3,000 flags representing those who lost their lives because of the events on 9/11. It may make you sad, or even angry, but what we want you to take away from the pain of memory is hope. Hope that the future is bright, that we Americans become stronger and fight for each other. By doing this, I think we honor the legacy of the men and women we lost that fateful day. We will never forget.

The attributesCole J. Branham is a junior Philosophy, Politics and the Public and history double major. He is the President of Xavier College Republicans and a guest writer for the Newswire.