Today is the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.
I was only 5 when it happened, so I don’t remember much. I remember Mom crying. I remember Dad explaining it to me as well as you can to a 5-year-old. His voice was shaky, like his throat was tight. I remember him explaining to me what was going on when Congress declared war.
“Why, Dad?” I asked
“Our government wants to attack them before they attack us,” he explained.
“But can’t we just hope that they won’t do it again?” (Childhood innocence is so precious, when we still expect the best of everyone.)
“It doesn’t work that way, Lindy.” His voice was sad.
Everyone seems to have their 9/11 story. You mention it, and everyone seems eagar to divulge where they were, what they were doing, and what they remember. It’s a story that all Americans share. Some would say that it may even be something that unites us.
But what about the kids who don’t remember? What about the kids who were too young to remember or not even born yet? I don’t know if I should be jealous or sorry for them.
Part of me wants to be jealous. They don’t remember the horror or the fear. They don’t remember images of smoking towers plastered across every screen. They don’t remember the day that the world was silent. They have the freedom to be disconnected from that reality. Just as I think of the attack on Pearl Harbor as something distant and historic, so they will think of 9/11. The same way I view WWII, so they will view the War on Terror.
On the flip side, I don’t know if I should feel sorry for them. Have they missed out on an important part of American history? Something that unifies us? Do they ever wish for their own 9/11 story?
Is ignorance truly bliss?