9/11 Tribute: The Legacy of a Free World by Connor Starowesky ’20


This year we are missing 2,996 Americans, four airplanes, and two towers, from our great nation.  First responders, carrying their body weight in equipment, raced into the smoking towers.  There was absolutely no guarantee that they could come back out, but they had to try to save more people.  It is thought that first responders saved nearly 600 people from becoming a statistic the next day on TV.  For days after people continued to scavenge the ruins at Ground Zero.  People were trapped under the piles of concrete and rebar for many days.  People from all over the country came to New York and Washington to see what they could do to help.  The poor and the rich, the average joes, firefighters, police, National Guard, politicians, everyone.

5, 10, and now 15 years have gone by since the terror attacks struck US soil.  The Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and Somerset, Pennsylvania have all been touched by the cowardly attacks.  The entire nation was.  Our symbols of military power, our economic strength, and our farming infrastructure– struck in a two hour window, with our own planes.  These were damaging blows to our great nation.

Now, 15 years later, I write not to remind what happened today in our past, but as a call to always remember.  Not on September 11th, but on everyday.  Everyday our military is helping end the terror forces that plague the world.  Everyday, men and women risk their lives so that we may sleep in peace at night.  These average American citizens have protected us from harm’s way and we shall always give tribute.  For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we can never repay them.  But we must remember.  I was born two months after the attacks, but it affected me.  Because of the acts of terror in our world, I will join the military, because I know what happened.  My parents told me, I will tell my kids, and they will tell their kids.  The legacy of a free world will always continue in my family.  Will it always be continued in yours?


The 9/11 Memorial Museum Facts