Today, your social media timeline, television screen, and newspaper pages will be flooded with the saying, "Never Forget," the slogan forever attached to the terrorist attacks planned and executed against the United States of America on September 11, 2001.
I turned 25 this year. On the day of the attacks I was an innocent seven year old who went about my day as one typically would in the first grade.
I wasn't expected to comprehend the weight of what transpired that day but as I progressed in my secondary education, the impact was still fresh enough to be an important topic of discussion in history lessons.
First-grade Luke has a vague memory of seeing planes fly into towers on a television screen. That's it. I wasn't scared, didn't feel as if I was in harms way. My understanding of that day is vastly different from that of the faculty at Lubeck Elementary School in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Today's middle school students know the day only by what they are taught. Most, if not all, high school aged students were born yet, so they're knowledge follows a similar trajectory. We can't expect those individuals to "Never Forget" if they have never learned the severity, tragedy, and lasting impact of 9/11.
For those who do remember the day with extreme clarity, I encourage you to share your stories. It's important for the rising generations to have a full knowledge of our nations' past. For those reading this that have questions about what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, I encourage you to ask them.
The only way a tragedy is never forgotten is if it's always a talking point. Let's honor the lives lost this year by making sure each of us realize the truth of what happened that day.
Our nation was attacked, but we stood tall together. Never forget.