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Volume 68, Issue 1, Date


Birthdays are for celebration

Kristin Buchanan
Opinion Columnist

We are almost upon the one-year anniversary of the day America lost its innocence, the day we all realized our own mortality.

Although many will view tomorrow as a time of mourning and remembrance, the day holds a separate significance for me.

Before one-fifth of the Pentagon was destroyed, before the World Trade Towers fell, before the general public even heard of al-Qaida, Sept. 11 was just my birthday.

The anniversary of the day I was born was horribly overshadowed by terrorist attacks.

Last year's events are still fresh in my memory. I can still remember the expressions of shock on my classmates' faces. I can still remember the horror I felt when we watched people flee from the buildings as clouds of smoke and dirt seemed to be racing against them.

I feel terrible that so many lost their lives. To those of you who lost loved ones, I offer my deepest condolences. But it doesn't change the fact that it's my birthday.

Whenever I hear people say "September 11," I hear disdain. I hear sadness. I hear an underlying fear of what may come. And I'm sick of it.

I'm sick of Sept. 11 being run into the ground. It's not an expletive to be carelessly thrown around. It's my birthday.

I don't exactly expect everyone to be skipping around, singing happy songs on Wednesday. But I don't think anyone should feel obligated to walk around with a heavy heart.

When the president addressed the public, he said we should get on with our lives, we should go about our business as normal. If we allow the attacks to keep us in a state of terror, to keep us from doing what we would normally do, then we've let them win.

Although there will be many events tomorrow commemorating Sept. 11, don't look for me. You won't find me there.

I refuse to mourn on my birthday. It's terrible that so many lives were taken, but I'm still here. I'm still alive, and I'm glad to be alive.

I'm going to use this day to celebrate another day of living. I'm going to appreciate my time here. I am going to have a happy birthday if for nothing else, then to spite Osama bin Laden. 

Life is short too short to spend your days living in the past.

Buchanan, a senior journalism major, will graciously 
accept all presents and can be reached at


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