As we all know, the coronavirus pandemic has ruined numerous events that we have been routinely accustomed to over the years from rodeos to festivals to funeral services. COVID-19 has impacted the way that we are able to reminisce and celebrate the lives that lived before us, and the September 11th memorial services were no different. The remembrance of the shocking and heartbreaking day has been taking place for 19 years in many parts of the country (mostly in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.) since 2001. The memorial in New York has been a place of condolences and warm, supportive hugs from the relatives, friends, and citizens who cannot forget the events that lead up to the terrifying event that began at 8:46 A.M.2
Roughly 3,000 people lost their lives while thousands more barely made it out of the crumbling structures, and American as we knew it changed forever. Fast-forwarding to September 11, 2020, citizens were still trying to pay respects to the fallen during the pandemic. The New York Times stated that visitors had been seen trying to keep social distancing measures in line with the CDC guidelines, all while wearing masks and giving “awkwardly choreographed fist bumps.” 2 According to NBC News, data provided shows that there had been “more than 1,000 first responders from 9/11 who have battled confirmed cases of COVID-19,” but not all of them survived the cruel virus.1
Another way that people used, to commemorate the day, especially since there cannot be large gatherings to grieve, was through social media platforms. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and many other platforms contained hashtags, tweets, pictures, videos, and even gifs displaying how difficult it was—and still is—to forget the day that their relatives and friends left them. People found ways to reminisce what life was like before the pandemic, to never forget what America has gone through these past 19 years. Let us never forget the lives lost on September 11th and the lives lost since then.
- NBC NEWS: Arkin, D. (2020, September 11). 9/11 first responder was looking forward to retirement. But then came COVID-19 symptoms. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/9-11-first-responder-was-looking-forward-retirement-then-came-n1239912
- NEW YORK TIMES: Gold, M. (2020, September 11). New York City Marks 9/11 at a Time of Harrowing Loss. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/nyregion/9-11-ceremony-September-11th.html