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My Turn: Days to remember

For the Monitor
Published: 9/11/2021 7:00:28 AM

September 11, 2001, is one of those days that will stick in my memory for the rest of my life, like the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, the day the Challenger exploded with Christa McAuliffe on board, and the days my mother and father died.

Sadness and anger accompany those memories, along with remembering exactly where I was and what I was feeling when those events occurred. Usually, those moments are experienced alone, followed by as many good memories to counteract the bad. But they are solitary and personal reflections and are stored away until the next anniversary comes around.

9/11 is unforgettable because the ramifications of that day have led to other events that snowballed, growing in despair and desolation, never seeming to end. The war in Afghanistan is one of those events and while it has finally ended for America, it has not ended for the people of Afghanistan.

My fear is that we in America will forget about the people of Afghanistan because we no longer have boots on the ground. How much of their plight is caused by our actions? But will we remember? Will August 30, 2021, the day we evacuated Afghanistan, be remembered the same way 9/11 is remembered? I doubt it, because we left in disgrace with our tails tucked between our legs. We’ll want to forget that as quickly as possible.

The families of the 2,455 fallen soldiers from that war will never forget it and they will annually relive the day they learned about their loss. They will join the throngs of people who will pause on Memorial Day, the nationally sanctioned holiday, to remember the fallen from past wars.

The best way to honor the nearly 3,000 victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families, along with the first responders and survivors, is to step back, remember the past, learn from the past, and think twice before we leap into another war.

(Susannah Colt lives in Whitefield and can be reached at

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