Editorial: Victims of Sept. 11 tragedy are worth remembering

Sep. 10, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

Had things that morning 12 years ago today gone differently, Dana Falkenburg would likely be entering her sophomore year of high school.

Perhaps gearing up for a test for her learner’s permit or planning ahead for college applications, the curly-haired girl, remembered as “robust ... “intense, funny and a charmer,” would be 15-years-old today.

Viewed a miracle child by her parents, who were in their early 40s when she was born, Dana was loved at Greenwood Nursery School, near her family’s home in University Park, Maryland.

Instead of seeing her teenage years, however, Dana, 3-years-old at the time, her sister, Zoe Falkenburg, 8, and their parents Charles Falkenburg, 45, and Leslie Whittington, also 45, perished on Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines flight 77 plummeted into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m.

All 59 passengers on-board, along with 2,918 others (not including the hijackers), died in worst attack on American civilians in U.S. history.

In the months surrounding the tragedy, the nation mourned the lost.

In time the sadness and shock turned to anger.

The war on terror, which has become less and less popular, followed. Now it seems Sept. 11, 2001, has been widely forgotten, or at least moved to the back-burner of the nation’s collective mind.

It’s a shame.

Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, what the federal government deems Sept. 11 annually, is a good start, but greater participation and observance is warranted.

The victims of the attack, along with their families and the families of the men and women of the armed forces that have lost their lives since, deserve better.