I was 6 years old and it was almost time to go to school. As I finished my breakfast, my nana called me into the living room. I don't remember what the reporter said, but the broadcast was live and the World Trade Center, wreathed in smoke and fire, was set ablaze.
There was so much smoke and there were so many people. I knew none of them and was fortunate that I didn't lose a loved one that day, but 9/11 shaped my life just the same. I love my country and I would do anything to defend her and I believe that the way my life has turned out so far has had much to do with that day. I can only speak from the perspective of an American, born and raised in the United States, so I can't begin to fathom how this day affected people who don't call the U.S. home. I can only talk about the pain I feel and how I remember that day every year.
As many of you might know, I'm a moderator for the Minecraft community fan site, Planet Minecraft. At PMC, we encourage the sharing of creative works ranging from textures to projects built in-game to mods for the game. Every year when 9/11 rears its head, we receive an influx of submissions with the same topic: the attack on the Twin Towers.
Most of these submissions are posted with good will in mind, sending condolences to the families and friends of those lost with the message of "never forget". However, every year it occurs to me that many of these people simply don't understand. They don't understand what it is to witness an atrocity and they don't understand how to appropriately address it when speaking to people who were affected by it.
People think it's acceptable to post things that allow you to detonate the towers yourself, depict the plane crashing through the windows, walls, and offices of those working that day... It isn't acceptable to me and it is so hard for me to think impartially when handling those cases. It makes me so angry and so sad to see people with such ignorance about something that affected so many people.
You might say that I'm a hypocrite for saying this about 9/11 when I was born after similar events that wracked my country or events that affected other countries. I don't pretend to completely understand the emotional connection between Holocaust survivors and World War II or Columbine because I didn't experience them, but I know they were horrible and they happened to good people that didn't deserve it. I know that it would be disrespectful of me to make a "tribute" to those those events affected by depicting what happened there. The phrase may be "never forget", but that doesn't mean to re-live something that causes so much pain. It means to remember the lives and the parts of us that were lost.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, on behalf of my country and everyone else that was affected by 9/11, we thank you for trying to be thoughtful. Despite this tragedy, the out-pouring of support every year around this time is beautiful and it makes me proud to be a part of the United States. However, when you post blogs, forum threads, art here on DeviantArt, or projects on Planet Minecraft, please be mindful of how you depict something that you know might be a sensitive topic for others.