By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – I was at Sunday’s Red Sox game at Fenway Park and was relieved to see a moment of silence held in memory of the victims of the worst terror attack ever on our country, which happened 16 years ago today.

Read: Massachusetts Marks 16th Anniversary Of 9/11

Relieved, because I was starting to wonder if this year’s anniversary was going to set some kind of grim record for going unrecognized. The usual memorial events were scheduled, but perhaps because of so much other compelling news at this moment, it felt like there was less public anticipation of the anniversary than ever before.

Read: Profiles Of Massachusetts 9/11 Victims

And it’s undeniable that time has taken its predictable toll on our commemoration. MSNBC is not re-airing its coverage from that terrible morning as they have for the past 15 years. And with what’s going on in Florida, I fear the story may get short shrift today.

Why does that matter?

If we forget about 9/11, or allow our memories to become vague, we will surely lose our grasp on the crucial lessons we learned that day: that we always have to stay vigilant; that our free society leaves us vulnerable to those who hate us; that we cannot be “Fortress America,” ignoring what goes on beyond our borders, until the moment when that ignorance hurts us badly.

911nyc Keller @ Large: Dont Ever Forget 9/11

James Taormina, whose brother Dennis was killed in the 9/11 attacks, pauses at the memorial before a commemoration ceremony for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the National September 11 Memorial, September 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

We can’t let 9/11 become a second-tier memory because we’re still struggling with the problems it exposed, our fragmented security systems, governmental incompetence, often-clueless foreign policy, and more.

And most of all, we can’t let time erode the memory of 9/11 because that would hasten the onset of the next attack, and more of the almost-incalculable suffering it inflicted on us.

Comments (2)
  1. While it would be difficult for many of use to forget 9-11, keep in mind that this year’s high school graduates we no more than 3 years old in 2001. For them, 9-11 is something that people have told them about, not something they experienced.

    In this day and age, young protesters throw around words like “Nazi” like they were some kind
    of bad dudes. They were a lot worse than that. Let’s not have the same minimization happen to 9-11.

  2. I agree, Jon, with what you have to say about the 9/11 attacks on symbols of our prosperity and ingenuity.

    But I would also add that the 9/11 attacks need to be remembered for the unselfish acts of many, even though it cost them their lives or their health in their later years.

    We also need to remember the tragedy for how the millions of people in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut showed the better sides of human nature in their resilience and compassion.

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