I read a news article the other day that said we have reached the point in time where 9/11 is no longer something young people remember where they were. Instead it is a historical event they read about in a textbook or talk about with my generation.
I knew this was coming. I have brought it up the last seven years of my teaching in my classroom and year by year the eyes get glossier and glossier and I quickly turn into that old person who tells stories of “Remember when”.
I am a part of that story though. Still 16 years later this day can’t come without some tears shed by me and my heart feeling extremely heavy. My connection to that day is briefly random, but also I grieved in a way only a nation that has experienced a historical event has.
I took my girls to dinner last night and #2 proclaims, “Thinking about 9/11 scares me.” I launch into the diatribe they probably hear every 9/11. The one where we were scared and the world stopped and the feeling of your country being at war. The one where the TV stopped and had a 24 news cycle and stations shared coverage to give us info.
After that long story I said, “I didn’t know it at the time, but that was my world and the world of so many others changing forever. Of course it happens to all of us personally, but this was the kind of sadness and grief that you can’t explain or write. You just have to feel it. You feel it every time you think of it.”
My #1 said, “Yea, I felt like that….” And goes on to list all the terrorist attacks that have happened. I was heart struck. This is the world I am raising my children in struck me. A world where these breathtaking moments happen regularly.
Their 24 hour news cycle barely lasts that long anymore and life no longer stops in its tracks for long. I wonder if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I wonder what it does to this generation we are raising? Do they realize the scope of massive causalities in the same way because it is their way of life?
Or could we possibly be raising the next generation to stop the craziness of mass murders? I see hope in their eyes and hear it in their voices. I see acceptance of ideologies and diversity like I never have before in my generation and generations before mine.
God, I have hope. -MR