Literacy and Liberty

A Simple Token of Gratitude
Posted by: , October 3, 2018, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sometimes the smallest gestures make the make the most impacts. As I strolled through campus, I searched for tall statues, elaborate murals, and designated buildings that were established as war memorials. Eventually, I stumbled into a small plaque erected roughly forty feet adjacent to the Stern Center in a shaded, seating area.

The plaque, which reads “In memory of all those lost in the tragedies of September 11, 2001” lies under a multitude of trees. Even though the plaque projects a simple phrase, its words strike the hearts of Americans who remember the tragic attacks of 2001. As a person who was only two during the event, the plaque still sends chills through me as I reflect on the facts I read about the attacks. The memorial has such a profound effect because its sentiment is straight to the point and powerful. No one has to ponder its meaning because they know of the event and the impact it has on the country.

The memorial described in “Elegy for the Native Guards” honors those who were white-confederate soldiers and not the black soldiers. However, the 9/11 memorial outside of Stern honors every person, no matter race, gender, age, etc., who died from the attacks. Even though the memorial honors the deaths of all victims, many Americans still do not respect and consider the death of Middle-Eastern Americans who were also victims because they are stereotyped as “terrorists”. It is easy to pat ourselves on the back and say we’ve progressed from confederate soldier memorials to current memorials, however, Americans cannot be too flattered because of the consistent disregard for Middle-Eastern citizens who are also victims of terrorist attacks (just like whites and other people of color).

3 Comments so far
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As I read over this again I realize there are two arguments being presented…so my title doesn’t necessarily fit with my third paragraph/second argument.

   Jacob DeCarli 10.03.18 @ 2:55 pm

This put into words a lot of what I feel about 9/11. I can’t remember it but a lot of our lives have been shaped by that day and we have all learned so much about 9/11 that the effects of memorials like these are chilling and cause, as well as require, a lot of contemplative thoughts.

   Logan Cort 10.04.18 @ 10:44 am

Jacob–I’m so glad you found the 9/11 memorial, tucked as it is into that pretty corner of campus. It’s clearly a space designed (landscape-wise, too) to stimulate the kind of commemoration *and* reflection that you offer here. Nice job.

   Professor Seiler 10.08.18 @ 2:04 pm

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