Nineteen years later the never forget 9/11 brings back once again the startling terror that struck the U.S. — only this year being engulfed by the horrific Covid-19 Pandemic. Clashing with the day to never forget is a virus taking over the country and world putting tributes of remembrance at risk along with lives.
That deadly day should not be remembered in vain. Not only is it vital to recall all those lost on September 11, but it is also imperative to acknowledge how everyone immediately came together to fight against terror. There was no mention of race, religion, or political beliefs as each worked in unison to overcome the tragedy and rebuild as one nation.
Never Forget 9/11 Now Guided by Pandemic
Historically the single deadliest day in the U.S. saw almost 3000 lives lost in an instant. Along with life lost, that moment in time also caused injuries to more than 6000 people. Until 2020 it was unthinkable that any other tragedy to hit the country could ever be worse.
The terrorists who hit us strove to divide this nation. Instead, their timed attacks proved to bring the United States together. Those leading the U.S. in 2020 are now giving the attackers what they sought to cause — the country in turmoil filled with hate destroying each other.
A simple prescription to mitigate a virus by wearing a mask has driven an evil wedge in society that the never forget 9/11 had proved to remove. Like a real-life dystopian novel, the country is presently divided by mask wearers and non-mask wearers.
The day the nation strives to come together as one to never forget is now marred by the Covid-19 pandemic that has become a political game of separating people. While the nation mourns once more it must now do it without the much-needed embraces. Social distancing, along with masks, is an imperative remedy to stop the over 6-million cases of Covid-19 in the country from growing even faster.
As 9/11 is remembered this year the U.S. is also looking at the unthinkable loss of over 193,000 lives from the pandemic — over 64-percent times the 9/11 deaths. Important to be noted Is to not forget the continuous climb of post-September 11 related deaths as the Covid-19 death toll also rises.
Never Forget 9/11 Tributes Forced to be Seen in New Light
Tributes that all have come to rely on to remember such a fateful day must, in 2020, now be guided by another huge unforeseen nightmare. Actions that seem as simple as shooting towers of light beams into the night have become pandemic battlegrounds.
Every year since that never forget 9/11 Ground Zero has been a place of much-needed mourning — from light tributes to ringing bells, moments of silence, and reading the names of those lost. In August, it was announced that the annual light display would be canceled for fear of virus spread that would impact the many needed to implement the tribute. After a quick uproar, the state agreed to arrange for needed resources to make sure the “Tribute in Light” could be safely installed to be viewed.
Each year those personally close to Ground Zero, throughout the country, and around the world have come to rely on viewing the reading of names of the never forget 9/11 victims. It is a cathartic moment to help the ongoing healing process for the families and for all. Like everything else changed by the virus so has Covid-19 changed the way we must mourn on this day 19 years after the attacks. Instead of names being read in person, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum has planned a pandemic mindful ceremony with pre-recorded loved ones reading names.
With some family members and first responders speaking out about the need to have an in-person name recognition, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has stepped up with plans of their own. At the same time the recordings are taking place at the Ground Zero memorial there are live readings at the original location of the annual ceremony on the corner of Liberty and Church streets.
Both ceremonies are being mindful of pandemic protocol to assure social distancing and mask-wearing. Each of the ceremonies are holding six moments of silence with ringing of bells at the times each tower and the Pentagon were hit, as well as when the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa, and each tower fell.
Year of Demanding Changes Demands Never Forget 9/11
Who knew on that never forget 9/11 sunshine-filled morning of beautiful blue skies in metro New York would be broken by such horror. I viewed the usual planes making their descent towards JFK Airport as they flew over while I made my drive to work. Suddenly, the radio shocked by breaking news ending my sing-along. A plane had crashed into the North World Trade Tower.
Thinking it must be a private plane I thought, “How could a pilot be so hazardous”? Quickly my question was answered with more unbelief and shock. Clutching my beach radio, I ran into the office as more news broke with the second plane hitting the South Tower. Then another airplane hitting the pentagon.
News of a plane crash in a Pennsylvania field was reported as we realized war had hit our shores with terrorists high jacking to turn planes into bombs. Brave crew and passengers gave their lives to stop the terrorists on their craft from hitting an intended target.
On this 19th year after that sunny morning on that never forget 9/11 has seen a move for me to the Sunshine State. Each day of beautiful Florida sunny skies reminds me of that lovely September day and demands “never forget” for me.
I will never forget watching the smoke rise from Ground Zero just 25 miles away as I stood on the beach in my hometown. The smell in the air, the military flying overhead.
I will never forget 9/11 running to retrieve my then six-year-old daughter from school to put my arms around her — to make sure she was safe. This year demands that I be far away from my now 25-year-old — as the pandemic makes it unsafe for us to visit from another state — I so miss embracing her.
Never Forget 9/11 in the Year of Pandemic
This has been a year of demands for each to keep fellow-humans as safe as possible. Along with swapping NY for Florida, I have swapped a smile to another with a mask that hides expression. Our eyes not only prove windows to our souls but are now talking even louder to take the place of a smile or frown hidden by a face covering.
Lessons learned from the never forget 9/11 should be to work with one another to overcome the enemy and rebuild. Instead, life leading up to and now during the pandemic is escalating the opposite — attacking others with opposing beliefs and destroying what has been built.
It is time for change. When we state “Never Forget” it should be a tribute for those lives taken on 9/11. We must promise to not of had them die in vain — we must work together to stop the hatred towards others living in our democracy and to build a better, safer, and stronger country for all. Never forget 9/11.