• 73°

OUR VIEW: Hard to believe 9/11 was 20 years ago

For many of us old enough to remember the tragedies of Sept. 11, it’s hard to believe they happened 20 years ago. All of us remember clearly where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news.

There’s a video that goes around on social media about this time every year, playing air traffic from that day and pictures and video from that horrific day. It includes conversations about what was happening on the planes — phone calls from people to their loved ones, telling them goodbye.

It’s hard to watch.

It’s important to remember that in these uncertain, pandemic times, Sept. 11 is probably the worst day our country has ever faced in our lifetimes. Some were alive for Pearl Harbor, and there are other terrible days, but the terrorist attacks of that day were a reminder that our country is far from invincible.

It reinforced the importance of a strong military and the men and women who work hard to ensure this sort of thing never happens on American soil again.

But out of those terrible moments, something amazing also happened. We came together.

Maybe like no other time in recent history, Americans were just thankful for each other and leaned on one another. We’d all been through this terrible thing together, and somehow, someway this country was going to rise above it. And we were going to do it while being thankful that we lived in the greatest country in the world.

As time goes on, historical events tend to lose their influence on society. People are born after they happen, only to learn about them second-hand from books or television. Newer events take their place in the spotlight, and even the memories of those who experienced things first-hand can fade.

It is said that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A lot changed that day. For instance, while inconvenient, downright annoying and lengthy, airport security should remain tightly guarded to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. Perhaps 20 years in, airport security should even be reevaluated to ensure high efficiency.

We hope you’ll think about where you were that day. If you feel like sharing your story, we’d certainly be interested in hearing from you.

It’s hard to believe Sept. 11 was 20 years ago this week. It feels like it was just yesterday.