Column:Our nation must move on from 9/11

Kylee Mclntyre

The Maroon

Kylee Mclntyre

Kylee McIntyre

The picture on the front of Time magazine earlier this month was the “Tribute in Light,” two giant searchlights shining toward the sky where the Twin Towers used to stand. The tribute began in 2002 and since then has lit up every year on Sept. 11. This year, on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the tribute shone one last time.

It sent a gentle but clear message: it’s time to move on.

How can we move on? We’ve shortened the infamous date to two numbers, but we associate so much with them. I was in fourth grade, and I remember my teachers telling me that this was going to be like President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. I was going to remember where I was and what I was doing. None of us knew that it was going to start a war. 9/11 brought the country together. In many ways, it also split us in two.

How can we move on? Leading to the anniversary this year, I saw the media struggle. On the tail end of riots and credit ratings, this event commanded our attention. Ten years is a milestone, a very long time. They scheduled and advertised their tributes, but they felt stale to me. Nothing can capture the profound emotion people felt that day. Nothing can capture the raw humanity I witnessed on television and around me.

How can we move on? To move on is to forget the people who died, the people who became faceless, because every time I turned on my television for years, there were more. And there still are more. To move on is to forget the tales of heroism and good faith — and there are more of these tales than anyone can count, some that will never be known. To move on is to forget the fear on the faces of the adults around me, my first clue that something was terribly wrong.

To move on is to leave a part of my identity behind. We are the 9/11 generation. This event has been half my life. We cannot forget.

I don’t know how we move on, but I know how I’ve moved on. It’s that last stage of the grief cycle, the tricky act of remembering but also letting go. The terrorists wronged all of us, but we have to live our lives. We have to work to not match their anger and destruction but to rebuild. Terrorism is everywhere, a daily threat in countries that we never hear about. Violence is everywhere. It shouldn’t be.

Howard Lutnick said it best: “We move forward, but it stays with us.” Us. But this “us” doesn’t just include Americans. This “us” includes a world full of people afflicted by evil and terror. We don’t need a flashy tribute. We are the tribute, shining silently into the sky, connecting heaven to earth, bigger than a date, but still part of a world so much larger than we will ever comprehend.

Kylee McIntyre is a mass communication junior. She can be reached at [email protected]

In My Opinion is a weekly column open to any Loyola student. Those interested in contributing can contact [email protected]