9/11 tributes muted more than ever

Vice President Kamala Harris attending the 9/11 memorial ceremony in Manhattan on September 11, 2022. Photo courtesy: Reuters

Sunday marked 21 years since the 9/11 attack on American soil that claimed nearly 3,000 people from the Twin Towers to the Pentagon, slaughtered by 19 terrorists associated with al Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group.

However, many believe the anniversary of 9/11 went mostly unnoticed this past weekend.

As a refresher for those unaware of the tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes scheduled to fly from the East Coast to California. They used the planes to crash into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York in a coordinated attack.

Another plane was used to hit the Pentagon. And the fourth plane that was planned to crash at the White House, the aircraft’s passengers devised a counterattack causing the hijacker to crash in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Aiesha Harris, an allied health student at Florida A&M, said, “I feel like social media consumes much of everybody’s day-to-day. Even this year alone, it didn’t feel like a day of remembrance because everybody was posting the basics; we will never forget the tributes poster, and that was about it. I feel like social media kind of takes away the significance and the history behind it.”

The annual ceremony wasn’t fully televised but was overshadowed by the passing of the British queen, commercials, and other leading news of the day. The ceremony did receive airtime, but only snippets were played.

On social media, there was little to no coverage of the 21st anniversary of 9/11. Social media outlets hosted remembrance posts, but they were lost in the sea of entertainment news leaving many to forget the anniversary.

An article in the New York Post said, “Many school districts are ensuring that future generations won’t know about the darkest chapter of US history. Only 14 states have mandated instruction on 9/11.”

Harris added: “As far as coverage besides the essential company ‘We will never forget’ posters, I didn’t see much. I even saw a tweet that said, ‘This is the most, not 9/11 I’ve ever seen,’ and I must agree. Like when I was in high school, social media was still a thing, but when it came to 9/11, there was more done than just seeing it on social media. Every news channel spent its day talking about it. Reporters were at the World Trade Center, big tributes, moments of silence throughout the day, history channels and kids programming were showing the history and so much more that was there to learn. Families and friends were being interviewed and talked to, and so much more, but as social media grew, I think real live footage and history for 9/11 became less.”

There’s no doubt that the occurrence of 9/11 will never be forgotten. But there was something different, something muted, about the most recent anniversary of this tragedy.