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She confided in me that our generation was lost, that nothing defined us.
But we were young.
She leaned against a kitchen cabinet and explained to me that no one would remember us. "I wish something would happen!" She banged her fist on the counter. "Life is so boring." I just nodded, because I always agreed with my older sister, but inside, I felt differently. So together we agreed that something needed to happen, that something had to define us.
But we were young.
Confusion and fire. Insanity and planes. Two towers burned. Rumors flew. Prayers. The whole of Ashman Elementary filed reverently to the flagpole. We tried to keep our eyes down, but couldn't help but search the skies. And we pledged to the flag, as one Nation under God. We pledged to our country, to the past, and to the lives that were lost that we would never forget.
We were young, but we knew, even then. This would define us, for better or for worse. It wasn't the attack, it was that pledge to God and country, to living and dead that defined our generation. We said we would remember.

But we were young, and maybe we've forgotten.
Ten years later, this anniversary is a call to remembering those who gave their lives for freedom. Whether they fought on Bunker Hill or Gettysburg; whether they had a dream or exercised the right to protest; whether they fought in war or died because of it, they call to us to remember them.

It's time to grow up, America. It's time to remember the foundations of our country, it's time to work together, to respect each other, to define ourselves not as a generation that was destroyed, but as one who rose above, and it's only together that we can overcome. Lives have been lost for freedom, let them not be lost in vain. It's time to come together.

Alone, we're only young. Together, we're strong





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