Students need to give 9/11 a fair tribute

I remember it vividly, through the eyes of a six-year-old child, but I remember it nonetheless. 

The teachers who started off their mornings laughing and chatting with one another suddenly changed their facial expressions and replaced them with a flow of tears.

I looked around with big eyes lost and confused, wondering why all these grown ups were weeping and crying. It was September 11, 2001.

Fast forward 13 years. The streets of Keene are wild and raging. I overhear drunken chants such as “Let’s take a shot for 9/11!” followed by giggling. Students are dressed from head to toe in red white and blue clothing, some even wore flags as a dress.

These drunken college students are marching up and down Winchester Street to attend one of the many American-themed parties: September 11, 2014.

Yes, 13 years have passed since that tragic day. But does that mean that we stop honoring and remembering those 2,977 innocent victims who lost their lives on that day?

Have we as a nation stooped so low that we intoxicate ourselves and congregate together in a rally of drunken fun on a day that should be about sorrow and remembrance?

I do not believe we as Americans should be treating this horrific day in our nation’s history as a day to celebrate with alcohol and parties.

I do not believe that is a sufficient or appropriate tribute to the innocent people who perished on that day.

Especially to the heroes who purposely ran toward the fire to find anyone who might still be living and guide them to safety.

This is not to say we can no longer go on with our daily lives and that we must dwell on the tragedies of our nation’s past.

AP Photo

AP Photo

However, each year on that day, I believe we should carry ourselves a little bit differently.

I think we should spend that day in deep thought about how that one September day changed our nation forever.

I think we should take time out of that day to reach out to those people in our lives who we truly love, especially those who we don’t tell often.

I believe it is important to stop or press pause and stop getting caught up in our own lives and express our love to others.

The office workers who died that day may have gone into work forgetting to kiss their spouse and children goodbye. They never got to have  that opportunity back.

There is a distinct difference between having pride for your nation and celebrating for reasons that should not be celebrated.

From what I saw on September 11, 2014, it did not appear to be a day where so many Americans had fallen to their death unexpectedly, just over a decade ago. It seemed more so to me like something similar to the Fourth of July.

As I sat in my apartment, I felt a sense of disappointment. I tried to imagine what it was like for the family members who unknowingly said goodbye to a loved one for the last time.

I felt it was my unwritten duty as an American to be remembering and to think about that tragic day.

I believe I would be doing a disservice to my country if I misrepresented our red, white and blue colors on that night.

For all the people who woke up on that morning, who never got to fall back asleep with their loved ones on that night, it is crucial that we remember and pay our respects to the lives that were given up all too quickly on a day that will haunt in our memories for centuries to come.

Sabrina Lapointe can be contacted at

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