rebelling against low expectations

What Happened to Never Forget? A Teen’s Thoughts on 9/11

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If you’re a young person reading this, chances are that you weren’t alive on September 11, 2001. And if you were, chances are you don’t remember it.

But if you ask you parents, teachers, pastors, or some random adult at the store, chances are, they will remember. If you ask, they can tell you exactly what happened.

Why? Because they were there. Maybe not in New York City, or Washington, DC, or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, but there all the same. They were listening to the radio or watching TV. They were in class or just waking up. Whatever they were doing, chances are, they remember the moment that changed everything.

That moment was 8:46 am. My dad would tell you that he was at one of his early morning college classes then. My mom would say that she was watching Good Morning America while preparing for her own classes, when the show came back on after a commercial break.

Anyone who saw the footage that followed could tell you. At 8:46 am, when the first plane hit the World Trade Center, no one knew what was happening. But everyone knew something wasn’t right.

I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of 9/11 is the phrase “never forget.” But I have to wonder, have we started to forget?

Throughout the Bible, God calls His people to remember. In the Old Testament, He emphasizes creating visual reminders and the passing of stories from elder to younger, from father to son, so that the next generation would remember His acts of deliverance and His faithfulness to His people. In the Gospels, we are urged to remember what God has done through Jesus and His fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. In his letters, Paul reminds us time and time again to remember Christ.

The intentional act of remembering is Biblical, and it is also emphatically important. We are so prone to forget the things that are important, which is why we need to be intentionally reminded to remember. Click To Tweet

I think you get the idea. The intentional act of remembering is Biblical, and it is also emphatically important. We are so prone to forget the things that are important, which is why we need to be intentionally reminded to remember. While the tragedy of 9/11 and other similar events are different from what Scripture calls us to remember, they too are important to recall to mind.

So, with that in mind, I will repeat: “Never forget.”

Never forget the lives that were lost and the lives that were forever changed. Never forget the sacrifices that have been made. Never become so busy and distracted that you forget the events of old that have shaped the world of today–whether for good or bad. Instead, let’s seek to remember and seek to learn from the past as we fight for the future.

Even if you weren’t alive on 9/11, you should still remember. One generation must share remembrance with the next.

We are the next generation, which means we have a responsibility to listen. When we hear about what happened, what is remembered, we need to be willing to listen. Just as those older than us have a responsibility to speak, we have the responsibility to receive.

Again, just as my title suggests, I have a question for us to think about: Generation Z, what happened to “never forget?”


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About the author

Anna Grace

A chronic illness warrior, Anna Grace understands the what it feels like to have questions with no apparent answer, even while still trusting God as her source of strength. Passionate about using her writing to reach her generation, she is described by her parents as a "born writer." She can often be found reading, writing, or enjoying worship music. She also enjoys folding origami cranes and crocheting. You can connect with her in her novelette, Before the World Changed, or on her blog, Redeem the Time.

6 comments

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  • Thank you, Anna Grace, for the question, “What happened to never forget?” referring to 9-11. I’m in my 70’s; Pearl Harbor was a similar event to my generation as 9-11 is to yours. I like that you put the “why” in – because it’s “biblical” to *intentionally* remember. I like that you used that word. Throughout the OT the Isrealites were instructed through the prophets to remember *intentionally* where they came from by God’s design and faithful provision. I think He might be telling us (Americans) through current prophetic voices to remember where we came from by His design and provision. As a society we don’t listen any better than God’s people in the OT did. We should be hearing about this from the pulpit! The Church is failing and has been for many decades, erroneously standing on Romans 13 and driven by fear of losing revenue, members, tax status, etc. Much of the wokeness in our world is designed to eliminate remembering or distorting our memory. The Church should be boldly teaching and exhorting Christians to apply scripture in recognizing and actively opposing the wokeness and to intentionally remember. 9-11 is an important part, and I applaud Anna Grace for so eloquently reminding us.

  • Thank you, Anna Grace. 💙 🇺🇸
    “One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.”
    -George W. Bush

  • Thank you for writing this article! I have been thinking about this recently because it seems that the further we get from 9/11 the more flippant we are about it as a society. I know people who have lost family on 9/11, but teenagers seem to take this date for granted much too often.
    9/11 is something we must never take for granted. Losing life is something we should never take for granted. Thank you for writing this. It is so important to remember!

  • “Never forget.” I wasn’t born then, but my parents have been so good about reminding my brothers and I. Thank you for calling our generation to remember.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →