Why Isn’t 9/11 a National or Federal Holiday?
It's hard to believe that September 11, 2001, was twenty-two years ago. If you are old enough to remember that day, it probably feels like it was yesterday.
9/11/01 Never Forget
Every year, on the 11th of September, the United States commemorates the tragic events of 2001 when terrorists hijacked planes and launched devastating attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. These attacks claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people and left a profound impact on the nation and the world. Despite the significance of this day in American history, it may come as a surprise to you that 9/11 is not recognized as a national or federal holiday.
Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, businesses and schools do not close in observance of the occasion, although memorial ceremonies for the victims are held.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the nation came together in mourning and solidarity. Memorials, ceremonies, and moments of silence became customary to honor the victims and heroes of that fateful day. However, while other national holidays like Independence Day and Veterans Day are marked by federal recognition and a day off for many Americans, 9/11 has not received the same official status.
Why Isn't It a National Holiday?
- One key reason why 9/11 is not a national holiday is the historical precedent for such designations. Most national holidays in the United States have a historical or cultural significance that extends beyond a single event. Independence Day, for instance, celebrates the birth of the nation, while Labor Day recognizes the labor movement's contributions. This raises the question of whether a tragic event like 9/11 should be equated with these more broadly applicable holidays.
- The events of 9/11 were a national tragedy that resulted in significant loss of life and ongoing security concerns. Some argue that making it a national holiday might inadvertently trivialize the gravity of the situation or exploit the memory of those who suffered and sacrificed. There is a concern that the holiday could be commercialized, which could be seen as disrespectful.
- The debate over whether 9/11 should be a national holiday is ongoing. Some argue that recognizing the day in this way would serve as a reminder of the resilience and unity of the American people in the face of adversity. Others believe that the existing commemorations, including the National Day of Service and Remembrance, are sufficient.
Day of Reflection
An alternative approach could involve making 9/11 a day of reflection and community service, encouraging Americans to engage in acts of kindness and volunteerism to honor the memory of the victims and the first responders who selflessly served their country on that day.
The question of whether 9/11 should become a national or federal holiday is a complex one, with valid arguments on both sides. While it is not a national holiday in the traditional sense, the day is certainly not forgotten. I certainly would not want it to become another holiday for sales and commercialism.
It continues to be a time of remembrance, reflection, and unity as Americans come together to honor those who lost their lives and the heroes who emerged in the face of adversity on September 11, 2001.