Our Generation’s New Identity Will Be Forged in These Fires

By Mike Hume

The horrific events of Sept. 11 will never be forgotten.

In a matter of hours, our lives, our nation, our world was changed forever. Never again will our eyes fall upon the looming edifices of the World Trade Center. Never will we forget the images of the towers crumbling down onto the streets below, shattering lives as well as dreams of peace and security in our country.

Across the river from our campus, in the early morning of what was supposed to be a normal day of classes, smoke billowed from the national headquarters of the U.S. military. Throughout the day, amid the endless newscasts and constant updates of the escalating horror that would ultimately claim the lives of many, we stood powerless and watched. As college students, we were in many ways powerless.

We had to allow elder statesmen to formulate a response to the tragedy, our law and military personnel to track down those responsible and our rescue workers to courageously attempt to save the lives of those stricken by the cowardly attack. While we all may feel powerless now, we will not remain this way for long.

This terrible, tragic incident is now a part of us.

Our generation has long been criticized as lax, resting on the laurels of our parents’ generation’s accomplishments. We have never had an epic event stare us down and test our resolve, our character. Our parents’ generation was a generation who lived through the Cold War, hiding under their desks as the air raid sirens blared outside their schools. Their parents lived through World War II, whose horrors are so extreme as to go beyond the definitions of even the most heinous terms.

Until now, the single most vivid event with global implications of our lifetimes was the fall of the Berlin Wall, a sign that underlying hostilities with a power long dubbed “evil” by both presidents and citizens alike, were at an end.

The tragedy of Sept. 11 should serve as a reminder to us all. Evil does exist in this world, and by no means has it gone away.

It is my hope that this terrorist attack against innocent civilians will serve to unite our generation, not just as citizens of the U.S., but also as citizens of the world.

Georgetown has always prided itself on its diversity, educating students from many nationalities around the world. Additionally, Georgetown has placed its graduates in offices far and wide throughout the world – offices ranging from the forefront of business markets to the Oval Office itself. We, as gifted students, as architects of this world’s future, owe it to those who perished in this infamous wave of violence to ensure that the apocalyptic events of Tuesday morning never happen again.

The first step to realizing what can only be described at this point in time as a dream of peace is to restrain the imminent anger that true human beings must feel at this act of violation. We must temper the emotions that are so eager to rule us in such traumatic situations. We must have faith that justice will indeed prevail and those guilty of this atrocity will be punished in due course. Further, we must realize that the long-term solution lies not with widespread retaliation, but rather with the realization that it will take all races and all nations of the world to evict the evils of terrorism from our world.

Some may call this belief idealistic, this dream impossible. But without beliefs, what would we cling to in dark times such as these? Without dreams, what would we strive for? Would we stand silent, idle as more devastation is wrought on our fellow humans? It is my belief that this dream can be made a reality. And we only need to look to the dreams of others who came before us to give us hope that this dream will one day be realized.

If we stand as one community, one nation – if we stand together, all as human beings to combat this unholy disregard for life, it is my hope, my belief and my dream that we will succeed. And that our children, the generation to come, will never have to awake to a raging fire and column of black smoke rising from the ground no more than two miles away.

Mike Hume is a junior in the College and is senior sports editor for The Hoya.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.