While most college students are not old enough to recall September 11, 2001, it remains a poignant and meaningful date for many Americans. 2,977 people lost their lives as a result of terrorist attacks, which would forever alter the nation. In the days following the attacks, strengthened patriotism and renewed American unity spread across the country. Sixteen years later, it remains important for Americans to remember 9/11 and memorialize its victims.
In 2003 the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which seeks to promote individual freedom and traditional values, began the 9/11: Never Forget Project. The annual initiative enables schools to establish American flag memorials on September 11. GW’s YAF chapter has participated each year since its founding in 2006, and a total of 206 schools and universities participated last year.
At 7 a.m. today, GW YAF members and other students gathered in the mid-campus quad to set up nearly 2,000 flags. The memorial will be on display until 5 p.m. today.
Flags set up by members of GW YAF in the green area of Kogan Plaza
“It remains so important and relevant because eventually there will be a whole generation of people who were not alive when the 9/11 attacks took place,” said Aimee Triana, director of membership and activism for GW YAF. “We also want to keep alive the sentiment of patriotism that followed the 9/11 attacks when Americans were able to come together and rebuild the city of New York and the country’s morale.”
President of GW Young America’s Foundation Shannon Bell accentuated the critical need to honor lives lost on 9/11, “Because we are reaching a point in time where people are starting to forget the atrocities committed on that day.” She also noted the significance of recalling the country’s incredible resilience and the support that Americans were eager to provide each other.
Bell explained, “Remembering the attacks should remind us of the power Americans have when we come together as one nation.”