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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Chronicle’s View: Reflect this Sept. 11

Paper and plastic flags attached to car windows ushered in a new era of American history that began three years ago tomorrow.

As our eyes beheld the American flag plastered to vehicles, homes and poles and our ears were bombarded with patriotic tunes on the radio and in the supermarket, our minds were plagued with questions about what this new era would mean.

Although separated from the smoke, dust, tears and wails of New York City by many miles, it was clear to everyone that this was not a tragedy suffered only by New Yorkers, but by all Americans.

New and resurrected feelings of what it means to be an American created elevated levels of compassion, solidarity and even egalitarianism that astonished the entire world.

Along with pondering the impossible question “why?” that plagues the brain like a tumor after horrific tragedies, Americans were also faced with a realization that we as a collective people were reacting wonderfully and that these sentiments needed to be enduring.

Anniversaries of incredible tragedies are not only a time to mourn the loss of life, but also to consider whether the lessons learned from the experience are being retained.

Tomorrow is a time for each of us to consider if we still feel those feelings of unity, compassion and egalitarianism that swelled inside us three years ago. If not, why not?

It would also be appropriate to ponder the other feelings generated by the event, including fear.

Our grandparents made a mantra out of perhaps the greatest wisdom articulated in their generation, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”

This mantra especially rings true in our day when powerful forces are using fear to generate sympathy, support or apathy for actions that we might not otherwise feel the same about.

In this season of elections, the lessons learned three years ago need to be retained in order to overcome the fear of this new era and make clear-minded, and pure-hearted, decisions about what we want for the future of our communities.

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