This year there are 83,267,556 Americans who were age 6 or younger on 9/11/2001, and the vast majority had not formed their first permanent memories yet. That's fully 27% of Americans who do not have (and can't possibly have) memories of 9/11/2001. (and 18.5% - over 57 million - were not even born yet...)
The oldest members of this cohort of Americans with no memory of 9/11 are College Sophomores this year.
These Americans cannot "Never Forget" because They Can't Possibly Remember It In The First Place.
"Never Forget" is swiftly moving into the history books (and should take it's rightful place) alongside "A Day That Will Live In Infamy", "Remember The Alamo" and "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death".
On second thought, maybe we should start using that last one again.
I come from a time when the fear was not of some random zealot, but the actual, existential fear of global annihilation. A time when bomb shelters were real and a part of life. A time when at at any moment all of humanity could be wiped from the face of this earth in 5 terrible minutes. And, while those threats do still exist I no longer fear them because of constant vigilance and the belief that while there was certainly evil in the world, those that were good far outnumbered them.
I was not directly impacted by the attacks on 9/11, but my life was forever changed. Good or bad it was changed by the will of one, very small group of mis-guided people. I will never forget that day and no one in my life will ever forget that day, because I will not let them. Now it is my turn to practice and teach that vigilance that has kept me safe.
I fear for this world, but I don't fear them. They do not cause me concern. Because I won't let them. And I will never forget why.