The annual memorials of 9/11 felt a bit different this year. Even for me.. I have morbidly consumed 9/11 material each year starting around mid-August through the middle of September. I do this not for some macabre enjoyment, but instead it is truly to remember and place myself back into that timeline again. For a moment. To feel those emotions. To witness, again, the tragic events..
Have said before that it was a best of times and worst of times era for me personally. I had just turned 21 and had yet too be crushed by the perils of modern life and adulthood. It was late nights with friends and all you can eat garbage after bars.
On 9/11 it was coupled with the worst of times. This horrid notion that 3000 people can die within minutes on live TV with the entire United States government paralyzed.
It is odd to think, now 22 years later. As the years slowly tick away they seemingly become faster. Like a freight train losing control on tracks to the future! All of us are passengers whether we like it or not.
This year’s anniversary of 9/11 appears to cross into a new place.. one where many who experienced those events that day have aged or even passed away. It was a different era for me. No child, I had my mom and dad, and everyone had those huge tube TVs with bad pictures . Cell phones were gloriously huge. Yet somehow it seemed like technology worked better..
In going back to the past again this year, it was weird to hear the news anchors. They were so worked up and shook that day but their professionalism showed .. they held it together and narrated the end of the world for the country to hear and see. Politicians, though we know the truth that it’s all for show, also held it together and gave us advanced patriotic theater for the moment. They appeared strong even though we new behind the scenes they were stammering.
That was the element this year that stood out. The idea that when compared to 2001, how much we have changed.
It goes without saying that 9/11 changed everything. It changed everything SO much that if 9/11 happened today, 9/11 forever changed what our response to the attacks would be. Internet chaos. TikTok immediate conspiracy. Stumped politicians. News media that wouldn’t know how to talk without a script.
We sure did change.
That era of the 1990s is gone. It ended on 9/11. And now 22 years later it seems difficult to understand who we have all become, but more so what we never experienced and in the end what we all lost..
Until next year..