09 September 2011

What Really Changed?

For the sake of blog writing/reading ease, I'm referring to the attacks on the World Trade Center & The Pentagon & all the other stuff that happened on 9/11/2001 as '9/11' in today's post.

In my attempt to watch to the news more often (I was missing major global events like earthquakes & tsunamis & space aliens), I've started turning it on in the evenings while I clean.  Earlier this week the question was posed, "How much has your life changed since 9/11/2001?"

The response was about like mine... quiet... thinking.  I mean, I know things have changed, but so much in my life would have changed anyway... what is a result of 9/11?  I was in 10th grade when it happened. I now drive a car, am married, have a kid on the way, have a college degree, live in another state... but I'm pretty sure those aren't a direct result of 9/11.

So what changed?  The news definitely helped remind me of just how much has changed... and reading my blog post from last year reminded me even more.

Airport security.  Seeing someone of middle eastern descent.  Military.  Jobs.  Presidents.

For me, a complete paradigm shift.

No, every time I see someone of middle eastern descent I don't automatically think of 9/11.  But something deep inside of me does feel different than when I see anyone else on the street.  Before 9/11, I'm not even sure I knew anyone of middle eastern descent.  I would almost go as far as to say that I'd never seen anyone in that category, but I'm sure I did somewhere along the way.  I just didn't live in an area where that was prevalent.

But I think for many it was a complete paradigm shift.  In last year's blog post about 9/11, I wrote that we assumed it was a horrific accident until the 2nd tower was hit.  At that point we were confused, and then quickly, a bigger story unravelled.

Today, if there is an accident, one of our first thoughts is an attack or potential attack.  A pilot on a plane is asleep and overshoots his landing... and we freak out because we assume it's an attack.  Why wouldn't we?

I wonder what my daughter will read about 9/11 in her history books.  Will she ask me about it?  Wonder how crazy it was that I was alive back then?  How old will she be when she learns about it?

As I babysat a 4 year old last week a commercial came on TV about remembering 9/11.  I wondered if she would ask about it, but she didn't.  It seemed to be just another commercial to her.  Might as well have been a commercial about Pearl Harbor or Independence Day (the 4th or July, not the movie).  It's inevitable.  As time goes on, we will forget the sting, that feeling.  And our kids will never fully understand it like the ones of us who lived through it.

So for you... what has changed?  What has stayed the same?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Wow. A lot to think about. I was in 11th grade. I never really thought about it like pearl harbor and stuff. I always wonder what it would have been like back then when it happened.

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