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Feeding into societal division: what happened when West failed to acknowledge Sept. 11

Firefighters+douse+flames+and+search+for+survivors+in+the+rubble+of+the+Twin+Towers+in+the+aftermath+of+the+Sept.+11+attacks.
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Feeding into societal division: what happened when West failed to acknowledge Sept. 11

Firefighters douse flames and search for survivors in the rubble of the Twin Towers in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Firefighters douse flames and search for survivors in the rubble of the Twin Towers in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mike Goad

Firefighters douse flames and search for survivors in the rubble of the Twin Towers in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mike Goad

Mike Goad

Firefighters douse flames and search for survivors in the rubble of the Twin Towers in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

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The last time America was truly unified as a nation was 9/11. It didn’t matter who were you were, the color of your skin, or your political party of choice. It was an attack on every man, woman and child; tragedy struck us all and no one could escape its wake. Lulled soundly into a coma of complacency, the United States only awoke and regained her identity because 9/11 forced people everywhere to put aside division and differences and pursue a cause greater than themselves: each other. In the direct aftermath 9/11, the United States was a nation that cared more for its people than its politics.

And here we are 16 years later—our nation is divided now more than ever and the fire of commodore 9/11 set ablaze in Americans hearts has been doused by the ice cold reality of political polarization and apathy. This phenomenon is taking place on a national scale and the ripple effects are here at Parkway West High School.

By failing to remember how 9/11 unified our country in the spirit of patriotism, we are feeding into society’s current trend towards division and discrimination.”

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2017 as Principal Jeremy Mitchell spoke over the intercom for morning announcements, everyone rose as they were willing and able for the Pledge of Allegiance, then sat down and continued with their day. There was no moment of silence, no time to remember those who were lost. Rather, nonchalance permeated from the student body as we went through the motions of another mundane Monday—as if 9/11 were nothing more than a bad dream from our childhood.

Yet with the death toll nearing a nightmarish 3,000, Sept. 11, 2001 ranks second only to the Civil War Battle of Antietam in the number of American lives lost in a single day. Health repercussions of the disaster have continued to spiral, with more lives being lost each day due to dust from the accident causing cancer in first responders and mental illness stemming from the trauma of the event. It’s time to stop denying it: 9/11 continues to rock America both physically and emotionally to this day.

Nonchalance permeated from the student body as we went through the motions of another mundane Monday—as if 9/11 were nothing more than a bad dream from our childhood.”

In St. Louis, just six years ago, leaders from different faiths gathered at noon under the arch to reflect and pray upon the tragedy, while the Rockwood Summit chamber choir performed a memorial service in Fenton. Children of Babler Elementary School took leave from classes to remember a day of patriotism in American history that they weren’t even alive for, and the city of St. Louis filled Forest Park with 3,000 flags to memorialize victims ages two to 85. These vigils are evidence that emotion regarding the attacks still afflicts our society, but if West continues to ignore this day in America’s history, students and staff will lose in their place of work a reminder to carry on each day in the spirit and heroism of those lost.

Granted, a select few history teachers led five minute discussions with their classes to commemorate 9/11, but this isn’t a conversation for individual classrooms, 9/11 impacts us all. By failing to acknowledge 9/11, West failed its mission to foster virtues of citizenship among its students. By failing to remember how 9/11 unified our country in the spirit of patriotism, we are feeding into society’s current trend towards division and discrimination. West needs to use Sept. 11 as a vehicle to promote unity as a nation.

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One Response to “Feeding into societal division: what happened when West failed to acknowledge Sept. 11”

  1. Katie Spillman on September 20th, 2017 11:29 am

    wow

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