Remembering 9/11

Names of the deceased are seen in the rain at the north pool waterfall of the National September 11 Memorial on the fourth day it was open to the public on September 15, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four planes to launch the largest attack on U.S. soil since the war of 1812.

The casualty count amounted to 2996 total deaths. Fourteen years later, 9/11 is still strongly remembered and will be for many years to come.

While most HBA students were too young to remember what happened that day, many teachers can recount specific memories. On that day, Social Science teacher Katherine Pang was 13 years old. She remembers “being scared more than anything.”  “I was too young to understand the reasoning behind the attacks or really understand what was going on,” she said. History teacher Robert Weismantel was 21 and in college, and remembers waking up to the news of the attacks.

To commemorate this day for future generations, memorials were erected at Ground Zero in New York, as well as at the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania crash site. Pang remembers the Pentagon memorial especially, saying, “The creators of that memorial put so much thought into it, and it’s meaningful. I love that it’s interactive, and you can sit on the bench and just ponder life.”

HBA took students on an East Coast trip this March, and the group visited both the Pentagon Memorial and the Ground Zero memorial. Sophomore Ty Minatoya was on the trip and remembers that the memorials were moving. “Just standing in the spot where thousands of people died really hit home because [of] the gravity of the place and knowing what destruction happened there,” he said.

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“This is the day that the United States rallied together to be strong and to recover from such a tragic event.”

Social Studies teacher Katherine Pang

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While Hawaii is one of the farthest states away from the 9/11 attacks, the state joined in with the rest of America in honoring those who died with its 10th annual Mayor’s Remembrance Walk, which went from the Honolulu Police Department Headquarters to Honolulu Hale in downtown Honolulu. At HBA, many honor the day by saying a prayer for those who were affected by the attacks. Freshmen Kristin Lau’s family puts up the American flag at their house to memorialize that day.

For Pang, 9/11 reminds her that “this is the day that the United States rallied together to be strong and to recover from such a tragic event.” Senior Rachel Amano reflected that she is reminded to use every day to the fullest.

When asked on how they would make sure that future generations remember the significance 9/11, Weismantel said, “The best way to extend the memory is to simply become more educated on the event and the aftermath. Learn it from different perspectives.” Minatoya said, “I’ll tell them to respect the day: it’s not just a day for them just to live off; it’s a day to remember what sacrifices were made… and to be aware that there’s evil in this world.”

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