Never forget, 9/11 continues to effect

Alongside the annual commemorations of those lost, the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center also marks something new: the first year that high school freshmen will be reading about 9/11 as a piece of history they weren’t alive for.

The attack on the World Trade Center was undeniably horrific, however with it receding further into the past, it’s important for the coming generations to keep in mind how it shapes their own environment.

 In the years following the attack, 9/11 caused a shift in the United States’s social and political climate — a shift that continues to manifest itself today 

We can’t afford to forget that security in buildings and airports became exponentially stricter and continues to disproportionately target racialized individuals. 

We can’t forget how systemic racism and fear towards immigrants grew following September 11th and military invasions in the Middle East grew along with it.

If we forget that violent and graphic media coverage stemmed from the 9/11 coverage, we aren’t able to recognize when a news outlet perpetuates that harmful attitude. 

If we treat these consequences as pieces of history, we forget why the current climate exists. We forget to question why we still hold these fears of xenophobia and Islamophobia.

When it comes to past tragedies, high school history classes can be oversimplified. The Allies won against the Axis, good triumphs over evil. Often, our curriculums forget to teach how these events continue to effect societies long after the historical moment has ended. 

If this continues, high school freshmen won’t know why it’s problematic for media outlets, for example, to accuse all immigrants of being terrorists — without being taught the long-lasting consequences of this, they’re only left to accept it as a norm.

By remembering the events and noticing the effects 9/11 still has on all of us, we can grow to be better and maybe stop history from repeating itself. 

Kayla is The Journal’s Production Manager. She is a fifth year Computing and Creative Arts student. 

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