Remembering the Past Determines Our Future

On January 10, 2017, we visited the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The visit was extremely emotional and powerful for all of us. I thought the memorial was a great tribute to those who passed away on September 11th, and it allowed us all to remember the horrific and historic day.

The attack on September 11th greatly informs the foreign policy of the United States today. Our government has been dedicated to tracking ISIS leaders and helping end the terrorist regime. The war on terrorism has also impacted how many people view Muslims inside and outside of the United States. President-Elect Donald Trump’s comments and policies directed at Muslims have spread across the country, creating fear and perpetuating ignorance. He seemingly lumps all Muslims into a category of potential terrorists, when in reality extremist Islam is radically different than Muslims exercising their religious freedom in the United States. If Trump is to uphold the values of the United States by protecting religious freedom, he should discontinue his profiling and stereotyping of Muslims on the basis that they are potential terrorists. The United States is a place for people to express themselves, but Trump’s comments have alienated a large group of American citizens. Regardless of whether or not Trump agrees with certain groups in the United States, I believe it is his duty as the leader of our diverse country to advocate for all people. It is easy to generalize and blame groups for issues facing the country, but Trump must realize that those who do not agree with him are not a threat.

The way our country remembers our history will impact our future. It is unclear what the future will hold with a Trump administration, but it is apparent he generalizes and blames certain groups. I appreciated that the 9/11 Memorial purely described the event and did not incite hate toward extremist Islam. While I feel sickened by what happened on that day and I am passionate about defeating ISIS, it is imperative that we do not blame our neighbors. In the wake of the election and changing presidential administration, we must stay united regardless of political beliefs because our future depends on it.

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