There are two ways to lose our innocence. The first is the slow and gradual growth to maturity when old ideas begin to be replaced with new ideas. The second is when a single event forever changes the way we see the world.
Today is the 20th anniversary of September 11th. It was an ordinary day. The sky was blue and bright, a perfect early fall day. Offices, schools, and stores opened as normal. Then the first place hit the Twin Towers and everything changed.
I was in college back then, part of the younger generation. It’s amazing how fast two decades can go. Though it seems like it will take forever for the time to pass, it goes in the blink of an eye. Those of us who were young then are now adults with adult responsibilities. Some of the the kids who were too young to know what was going on or not yet born are now on the verge of adulthood themselves.
On Thursday, The Brian Lehrer Show asked listeners what the term “never forget” meant to them. What I remember is that for a brief time, the divisions that normally kept us apart disappeared. We were all Americans and we were all grieving. It was a communal loss that knew no boundaries or labels.
Last month, I visited the 9/11 Museum with a couple of friends. It was my second visit. Walking into the building is akin to a ten pound weight being thrust on your shoulders. There is an energy that is emotional, heavy, and sometimes difficult to bear. The energy of the day and the souls of the innocent people whose lives were taken that day are all around you, a solemn reminder of what was lost on that beautiful September day.
It was if nothing else, a potent reminder of how important it is to not only live while you can, but tell the ones you love how you feel before it is too late.
May the memories of the nearly 3000 people who were taken us from forever be a blessing. Z”L.
Today is the 19th anniversary of 9/11. I can’t believe that it is 19 years.
There is a whole generation of kids who were very young or not yet born when the towers fell. Looking back, the years leading up to September 11th, 2001 feels like a pleasant dream in which we were violently waken up from.
Though it is nearly a full generation, the pain and the grief feel as fresh as if it was September 12th, 2001. My heart still breaks for those who died that day and their surviving loved ones. Time can do many things, including heal old wounds. But it can never erase the memory of what happened that day.
May the memories of those were killed that day and those first responders who have died in the years since forever be a blessing to us all.
Those of us who are of a certain age and older will forever remember that day and the following days after the towers fell. I will never forget coming home for fall break from college in October of 2001 and craning my neck to see the remains of the towers as the bus drove into New York City.
I sometimes wonder what the kids who were very young or not yet born (Gen Z) think and know about September 11th. Especially that tomorrow is 18 years since the attack. An entire generation has grown up with 9/11 as just another aspect of their lives.
I wonder if they see it as living history or just as history in the same way that my generation sees Vietnam or the assassination of JFK (for context, I am in my late 30’s). I would hope that they understand how significant and life changing that day was for this country. I hope that they mourn and remember those who 18 years ago tonight, had no idea that their time on Earth was growing short.
May the memories of those who perished that day and of those who sacrificed their time, the health and ultimately their lives in the days after 9/11 to be a blessing to us all. Z”l.
Life, as we know, it to be is precarious. We never know when we will meet our maker.
I work very close to where the Twin Towers once stood. As I got up this morning and prepared for the day, I couldn’t help but think of the nearly 3000 people who woke up on September 11th, 2001, not knowing that it was to be their last day on Earth.
As I got off the train, my eyes could not help but look upward and remember what was there 16 years ago and how the world will never be the same. Even though it has been more than a dozen years, the grief and the pain will never truly fade.
May the memories of those killed, both on 9/11 and during the recovery in the days after be a blessing to those who knew them and loved them, and to all of us. Z”l
The last three generations have seen profound and world altering change. My grandparent’s generation watched the world change due to The Great Depression, World War II and the attack at Pearl Harbor. The idyllic world of the 1950’s that my parents grew up in were forever shattered by the assassination of JFK and The Vietnam War.
My generation will be forever defined by one day: September 11th, 2001.
Anyone who knows me (or has read this blog) knows that New York City is in my blood and my bones. My family has been here for over 100 years. My immigrant great-grandparents came to this city and to America to escape the poverty and the oppression of Eastern Europe. Though not without its challenges, this city and her people gave my ancestors the start they needed to provide for future generations.
On September 11th, 2001, New York City was dealt a blow that nearly crippled her and her people. Coming of age in a post 9/11 world has forever changed my generation. We see the consequences of hate and prejudice. We also see the beauty of people coming together and seeing each other not as labels, but simply as human beings.
Where I currently work is very close to the 9/11 Memorial. Most of the time, I don’t pay attention to how close I am. This week, I could not help but think about how close my office is to where the Twin Towers stood.
Tomorrow is 9/11. We will never forget the lives lost and the emotional scar that will never completely heal.
Thirteen years ago today, September 10th, 2001, we were innocent. Thirteen years ago tomorrow, September 11th, 2001, we were no longer innocent.
The destruction of The World Trade Center and murder of nearly 3000 innocent people was a punch to the gut that came completely out of left field. As New Yorkers, Americans and human beings, it brought us down to our literal knees.
The world we knew had changed and not for the better. We were drowning in our grief. The destruction of the Twin Towers, the partial destruction of the Pentagon and the martyrs who died in that field in Pennsylvania, was all around us. The images of that day have since then been burned in our collective consciousness.
Thirteen years does not completely erase the pain, especially for those who lost loved ones. But time does help to heal some wounds. It helps us to remember the good times.
I visited the 9/11 memorial last summer. Even this jaded, seen it all New Yorker had to reach for the kleenex. It is a heart breaking, beautiful memorial and should be a must see for locals and tourists alike.
9/11/2001, the day that forever changed the world around us.