With the 9/11 anniversary coming up in a couple days, it's once again time to reflect on the first responders who gave their lives to save others and the 3,000 innocent people aged 2-85 years old killed on that horrific day.
18 years after this tragedy, the children of 9/11 are all grown up. While the attacks are part of history now, for young people (Specifically, 1991-1998 babies, the 2nd half of the Millennial generation) like me who watched the events unfold on TV as children, the pain remains ever present. "Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day?," said Alan Jackson in his song of the same name. Our generation, as listed above, is the last who will be able to share memories of that day. There we were, aged 3-10, elementary schoolers and preschoolers, watching the news coverage of the twin towers on TV with our teachers and/or parents, completely clueless as to what we were watching, as our nation was shaken to its core. We were eventually picked up by our parents and sent home early from school that day, unable to watch our favorite cartoons because literally every channel was showing coverage of the twin towers.
I was 3 years old at the time of the attacks, and its the most vivid memory I have from when I was that age. I had just started preschool. My classmates were looking forward to a day of fun and games together, when suddenly, our school was put into lockdown, and our teacher looked very panicked. I remember being confused as to why the other kids seemed to be "magically" disappearing from the room. Then, my father showed up. He looked panicked as well. Based on his facial expression, I could now tell something was wrong. He put me in the back of his car and rushed me home. My mother had the living room TV on the news, and I saw bits and pieces of the footage of the twin towers before she shooed me away to my room. Frankly, I was too young to fully comprehend the attacks as they happened, and it wasn't until I watched the 10th anniversary ceremonies on TV before church (It was on a Sunday) in 2011 that I finally learned what happened that day. I haven't forgotten it since.
I'd also like to give a pat on the back for our "9/11 generation," now aged 21-28, for the resiliency we've shown. After going through 9/11 as kids, we've lived/are living out our 20s in a violent America overtaken with mass shootings and bloodshed. Our "Keep calm and carry on" mentally really shows who we are as a generation: Defiant and determined, and that bodes well for the future. It's also up to us to teach future generations the horrors of that day to prevent such an event from ever happening again.
Never forget 9/11/2001.