Our grandparents remember where they were when WWII ended. Our parents remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot and now we remember where we were when 9/11 happened.
The children growing up today, including my teenagers, don’t remember 9/11 when it the planes crashed into buildings in New York City, Washington DC and in a field in Pennsylvania, other than what we tell them. My daughter knows she didn’t go to afternoon kindergarten that day. My son was only a year old.
Freshmen in high school and younger only know about 9/11 as an historical event - something that happened before they were born that they have to learn about in history class. They know about these buildings called the “Twin Towers” and occasionally we see them in old movies. They don’t understand how the world changed on that day. How we as a country were never to be the same again.
After 9/11 there was a surge in patriotism and everyone was more vigilant. Flying became more time consuming to make sure that no one was carrying on something that could be used to bring a plane down. More people drove to their vacation destinations. Many people joined the military to serve justice for our country.
Fifteen years later, the history of that event and its effects have all but disappeared. National pride is at an all time low and what the next generation knows about 9/11 they were told by their teachers or parents in a history lesson. The feelings of helplessness and disbelief of that day can’t be conveyed. The horror of watching the towers fall and knowing there were people in there, or that the falling debris off the buildings were actually people plummeting to their death because jumping was the better decision than staying where they were.
I remember believing that the world had gone mad and thankful that my whole family was accounted for and my children and husband were in the house safe and sound. It was not so for many other families who lost loved ones on that day.
History only lives in those who tell the stories of life on that day and after. Don’t be afraid to speak about what happened and where you were on 9/11. It matters.