Essay dated January 10, 2002, by James Stephenson of Bridgeport, junior at Central High School
This letter was part of an essay contest, prompted the State Legislature, to declare September 11 a Day of Remembrance.
On September 11th 2001 American suffered one of its most devastating attacks ever. Soon after you did not see anyone without his or her American flag or hear someone saying God Bless America. But then slowly the patriotism slowly died down. Some do not even realize that ground zero is still being worked on as we speak. Then before we knew it patriotism became a thing of the past. But we can never forget such a day, the men that died, the individuals that we are so proud of, and the honor of our country. Therefore I suggest we make September 11th an official holiday in Connecticut.
I choose to write about September 11th because I wanted to do something right. When I look at what happened I just want to go fight the war myself, but I am too young. So, by at least putting this idea out in the open I can feel like I did something in the end.
Making this an official holiday does not mean we have to get a day out of school. Instead of cramming algebraic equations in our heads we could take maybe ten minutes out of a class and do something that will help us remember this unforgettable day. For example we can start and end the day in silence, then go around the classroom and discuss what we remember and how we feel about what happened. And to the young ones who do not know what happened, have their teacher, parent or guardian explain to them what occurred and why we do this on this day. We must also stress that we are still the strongest and freest country we will ever see. We will call this day Remembrance Day.
If you are working on this day, everyone on the job should stop working for five minutes. What these people can do since they have to get back to work is maybe face the flag and say the (P)pledge of (A)allegiance keying in on the last phrase “with freedom and justice for all.” After that just a moment of silence and then back to work.
The whole idea of this day is to remember the men and women who died on this day. Remembering the children who aren’t able to see their father(s) or mother(s) or both any longer, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, and all others who lost friends and family. Let us remember how bless(ed) we are to be alive, well, and free something I can say we all take for granted.
I am not asking for anything big just let us remember. We do not have to make it a holiday, but rather a day of remembrance. Ask someone to do something special that they normally would not do. Who knows maybe by Connecticut doing this that (the) rest of the nation may want to catch on and do it as well. Thank you for your time, and have a blessed day.
From Connecticut Public Act No. 02-126
The Governor shall proclaim September eleventh of each year as [911 Day, which day shall increase the public's awareness of the emergency telephone number and shall be observed in the schools and in other ways as indicated in such proclamation or letter] Remembrance Day, in memory of those who lost their lives or suffered injuries in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and in honor of the service, sacrifice and contributions of the firefighters, police officers and other personnel who responded to such attacks. Suitable exercises shall be held in the State Capitol and elsewhere as the Governor designates for the observance of the day.
Approved June 7, 2002 and signed by Governor John G. Rowland