9-11: Never Forget

The World Trade Center Memorial, New York City

The World Trade Center Memorial, New York City

The Paw Print Staff

The Paw Print Staff reflects on the events of September 11th from a generation who was not alive to have memories to “Never Forget.”


As we near the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attack, everyone in America is reflecting on that fateful day.  For Gen Z, we have only seen the clips and heard the stories told by parents and grandparents.  Our generation marks the beginning of an era where young people are not personally affected by 9-11, and for me, the pictures and videos speak volumes.  The emotional gut punch that comes with watching interviews and seeing the pictures is indescribable, and even as a viewer, I feel vulnerable and attacked, despite knowing what happens next.

When I hear stories of where family and friends were I try to put myself into their shoes, but I always come up short. Events such as the Boston Marathon and the other horrific attacks that I have lived through never reach the emotional magnitude that the 9 -11 stories carry, even when told by people who experienced the attack from across the country.  I always wonder what I would do and say if I were in the towers, on a plane, or experiencing the attack first hand.  Every time I try to wrap my head around it I can’t even comprehend where I would start.

One of the most moving scenes for me however is not on the day of the attack, but on September 21st, 2001.  That was when the first baseball game took place in New York since the attacks.  The atmosphere in Shea stadium was both patriotic and somber.  And when Mike Piazza hits the game winning home run for the Mets, you get chills all over.  Despite being just a baseball game that was a visual reminder of American resilience.

  • Tristan Hasseman


When I hear 9/11 I think of the lives lost that day and how horrific that day was for every citizen of America. I myself do not have any connection to the event, but I do know people who do. Growing up I’ve heard stories from my parents, relatives, and my  friends’ parents. I’ve also watched just about every special on TV about 9/11. I used to hear stories about how after 9/11 people’s homes were under bomb threats and they had to move because they were so terrified. The term “Never Forget” is the most used and memorable phrase for 9/11. It means that we must never forget the lives lost and all the heroes and the innocent on that day.

  • Jack Hughes


This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of one of the nation’s most horrific events- The attacks on the twin towers, September 11, 2001.  Many of us have heard stories from teachers, friends, and parents about the happenings of 9/11 and have pictured what it would be like if we were in that situation.  Many of us have lost loved ones, or know someone who has lost loved ones due to the terrorist attacks.  No matter how we experienced or heard about this, it changed the nation forever.

So how does this affect the way we live our lives?  You may have heard recordings or seen videos of people saying goodbye to their family and friends over the phone.  The families of those individuals did not expect to lose their loved ones that day, and probably wouldn’t have taken their time together for granted.  This chaotic day made so many people realize that the time you spend with loved ones should be cherished, because you never know when it will be the last time you get to hug them or tell them you love them.  Similarly, the individuals that lost their lives that day had no idea what chaos was about to take place.

  • Ellison Downey


The 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy is approaching. When I think of 9/11, my mind goes to terrorists attacking the Twin Towers but it is so much more. I have recently watched videos about this event and it deeply saddens me. Just thinking about what the people in the buildings, around the building, and their families had to go through is just awful. This event was inhumane on the terrorists’ end. Anyone who is willing to kill themselves and thousands of other innocent people, definitely have a deeper rooted issue.

Netflix recently came out with a documentary series, Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror. It is very informative and gives details I didn’t know about. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about 9/11.

I visited the 9/11 Memorial a few years ago while in New York. It is a beautiful memorial site that has two big fountains with all of the victims’ names engraved into the sides.

Although I wasn’t alive when this tragedy occurred, I have heard many heartbreaking stories and videos of the victims family members showing their pictures. The phrase “NEVER FORGET” has been attached to 9/11 memorials. That phrase to me means all Americans, whether or not they had loved ones who died during 9/11, should never forget what happened and honor those who unfortunately did not make it. “NEVER FORGET” has an impact on America because people around during this time were scared and didn’t have answers when they needed them most so they will never forget this time. It also has a huge impact on the victims family and friends who had to go through such an awful loss.

All of the people working in the Towers went to work that day thinking it would be a normal day and they would go home and see their families after but sadly selfish monsters took that away from them and their families and my heart goes out to them.

  • Erica Ellison


9/11 means a lot to me as a person. Do I have any first hand experience in the event? No, I do not, although, the event had a major impact towards our nation and people. Though I was not yet a part of the world when this catastrophe went down, I have heard about the repercussions of it for nearly 18 years. This attack had killed many, many people. The people there that weren’t killed, either had injuries or trauma of some sort. The world fell apart as the Twin Towers did. Even to this day, the world isn’t the same. There are many more safety standards placed on simple things, like entering an airport or visiting a museum. Personally, I am not so devastated about the safety procedures; those have been a part of my life since day one. I am mostly impacted about the attack, and the people I know who had some part in the scene. Every year I am truly sorrowful when I hear the same story about the attack. It was an invasion on the people, and our country in general.

“Never Forget” is a phrase used a lot in accordance with the 9/11 attack. The phrase is used for the people and our nation. Not only will the people remember the towers coming down and the death of many, but we will remember the attack from another nation on ours. The US as a whole had  a standard of safety and euphoria, and this ambush ruined it. This phrase is impactful, because it really delves deep into one’s conscience. It is not a light phrase. It has the connotation of importance to it, because the event was important. The US will never forget.

  • Maddie Scassa


Because I was born three years after the 9/11 attacks, I don’t think it had much of an impact on me as it did for the people who witnessed it. When I had asked my sister about the attacks, she said her flight to the U.S. had been postponed because of it. My mom and my older sister were supposed to fly to Virginia from Africa a few days after 9/11. After the attack, their flight was postponed to December. Finding out how much my family had been affected by these events even before moving to America was very clarifying for someone who hadn’t witnessed them.

  • Lucy Tiokeng


It started off as a regular fall day. September 11th 2001, it was a Tuesday. Everyone started their day normally:  kids went to school and adults went to work. It wasn’t until around  9am E.T that the first attack took place on the north building of the World Trade Center in New York. At first people thought it might have just been an “accident” but little did they know that soon after the south building would be targeted. Many people in New York City, and all around the United States were frightened. Over 2,000 Americans left their houses that day, and sadly never returned. People watched on the news as this major tragedy unfolded. Both twin towers collapsed and sent many New Yorkers and reporters fleeing the streets to escape the debris and smoke.

Saturday, September 11th 2021 marks the 20 year “Anniversary” of the 9/11 attack. Each year there is always a news broadcast and memorial in honor of all those who have lost their lives and risked their lives on that day. Hearing and seeing the stories and pictures from that day is heart stopping. For some it is hard to relive all the  pain and horror from that day, but it is also important to “Never Forget”. The major devastation that was 9/11 horrified and disgusted many Americans, but it also brought more people together. When the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked on that day, a part of every single American was taken. Like the powerful quote John Dickinsion states ,”United we stand, divided we fall”.

  • Kayla Douglas


When I think of September 11th, I automatically think of the innocent lives that were lost. The first time I heard of 9/11 as a child, I just viewed it as any other event on a historical timeline; however, as time has passed, I realized how devastating it really was. The bombing of the twin towers may have only occurred within the span of a few hours, but the effects are eternal. The event has a large emotional impact on me, so I can’t even imagine how it has affected people who have a personal connection to the day.

 I think of the phrase associated with this historic day. “Never Forget” carries several meanings, and the meaning is probably different for every individual. In general, I believe that the phrase is meant to commemorate the lives lost during the attack, as well as to serve as a reminder that this mustn’t be repeated. In addition to that meaning, “Never Forget” may mean that we should never forget how fragile humans really are, and how we shouldn’t take the life we have been gifted for granted. Also, it may serve as a warning that we must be careful of our actions, because the perpetrators of the bombing have shown how selfish and malicious human beings can be.

  • Rachael Hargis


When people hear or think of the date 9-11 it may bring a mixture of emotions: sadness, anger, despair, etc. The people that were around when this travesty accurd may end up feeling stronger emotions than the ones who were not. Personally, I have always been told about the events of 9-11 and I will always think of it as a travesty that has caused an immense amount of grief not just to the families of the victims of the attack, but the entire nation as a whole. I have not actually had any personal connection to the event, for one, I wasn’t even born by the time it took place and the rest of my family was  in and around Europe while the events unfolded, but my parents do have a story about the specific day of 9-11. 

My mom was actually an important witness for a bank robbery that had just recently taken place and was with my dad at a court hearing in West Virginia and before she even had to go to the stand the attack had begun and the court hearing was postponed. It wasn’t too long after that the people involved with the bank robbery pleaded guilty, thus removing the need for my mom to be a witness at all. 

Through the eyes of the people personally there during the attack I can visibly see just how shaken up all of them were, people’s everyday lives were halted during the time and it’s interesting to see how everyone was feeling the same emotions at the time. I find it interesting just how much empathy went to the people during the attack, a real eye opening experience for me was definitely a video broadcast where the person that the reporter was interviewing broke down into tears and the reporter hugged her knowing that she was a complete stranger yet they were both in the same situation. I think the phrase “NEVER FORGET” has a pretty big impact on the way people think about the attack of 9-11, it can refer to a number of things from the need to remember the people and brave souls that died that day to the feeling of unity the country had during and after the events of that day.

  • Ryan Hegewald


When I hear 9/11 I think about how all those people that died, how traumatic it is for people,  how planes were forced to land, how the president had to go into the bunker and how he wanted to broadcast from the capitol building. I remember learning that some sports were talking about canceling the season or postponing it because of the attacks. My personal connection is that my mom and dad were both near where the attacks took place. My mom was in New York and my dad was in Arlington. My mom was a couple blocks down from where the attacks happened and I remember her telling me she just kept crying…how she felt for those people and how sad she was. Even today she still has those feelings and it reminds me how much this had an impact on America. I remember my dad telling me a story about how he was 30 minutes away from the Pentagon when he heard the loud boom of the plane hitting the Pentagon. He was on the phone with his sister at the time and he remembers when he felt the ground shake and telling his sister that he thinks a plane hit the Pentagon. 

  • Cole Broyhill


When hearing the date September 11th, my mind will always wander to tragedy. While I don’t have a personal connection to this event, I do remember all of the stories I have been told about this day. Stories from my parents, teachers, and ones that I have heard from other sources have all had an effect on the way I view that day. I will never be able to go back in time and experience the sorrow and fear that each and every American felt that day, but I will never forget the stories I have been told.

 The phrase “never forget” has always been true in response to 9/11. Every American knows of the date, and what happened, and I believe it will never be forgotten. It is such a huge part of our history, and is extremely evident in our everyday life. The date 9/11 will never be the same, but it will always be a reminder of the Americans we lost and those who risked their lives to save as many people as possible.

  • Jackie Lewis 


When I hear September 11, I think about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and all the lives that were lost. I don’t have a personal connection to the attacks, but I know somebody who lost a family member in the attacks. “Never Forget” can mean different things to different people. To some people it means never forget the people that we lost or never forget the bravery of the first responders, or many different things. The phrase ‘Never Forget”  means to not only remember the terrible side of the 9/11 attacks, but to remember the bravery of some and the unity of all of us at that time. 

  •   Mason Lamb


When I think about 9/11, I can’t help but think about all the innocent Americans who lost their lives that day. I do not have a personal connection to 9/11 directly, however, I have heard about it through relatives. I think the phrase “NEVER FORGET” means to never forget this historical event. It took a huge toll on America as a whole. By having that saying around, it helps memorialize those who lost their lives on 9/11.

  • Emma Sihavong