9/11: A Millennial Remembers
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9/11: A Millennial Remembers

15 years after a tragedy and the way it is remembered.

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9/11: A Millennial Remembers
Brianne Johnson, Instagram

It is difficult to believe that this year will mark the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th 2001. When you talk to people who were teenagers or adults that year most of them can recall watching the news throughout the entire day or being tuned into the radio waiting for constant updates. But what about those of us who were too young to be as involved? I was only six years old when 9/11 was seared into the world’s collective memory, I remember waking up that morning looking forward to nothing except my Mom’s birthday later on that day. I went to school, I ate lunch and I went to recess. All the while the world was being forever changed due to the actions of a few at the cost of thousands.

I admire the strength of my teachers when looking back I realize must have known what was going on but instead of panicking their students or exposing us to horrors we weren’t ready to comprehend, pushed everything aside and hid their hurt. Some of my friends’ parents came and got their kids early from school, wanting them to be home during such a scary time, but I was only frustrated that I wasn’t able to leave early too. After lunch my wishes were granted and our schools let us have the rest of the day off. The bus ride home was strangely quiet; it felt like the usually rambunctious high school kids in the back had decided to be more respectful. The world seemed quieter somehow and as the bus pulled up to our driveway to let me, my brother and my sisters out, I sensed something was wrong. I’ll always remember how my parents sat us all down on the couch and worked to explain to us the unexplainable.

The aftershocks of the attacks have shaped the course of our country ever since. For weeks and months afterwards news outlets were full of stories of victims, survivors, heroes, and those who were left to pick up the pieces of a shattered nation. The stories seemed to be endless; the color-coded terror threat levels and the images of war, filling screens and newspapers. It felt as if there was no escaping our country’s new reality. Amidst all of the heartbreak though, there were glimmers of hope. Stories began to emerge of people who helped complete strangers to safety, charities were raised in honor of those who had passed, and there was a collective promise from one American to the next that we were all in it together.

It has been fifteen years but the ripple effects of that clear skied Tuesday are still felt everywhere from TSA to foreign policy. 9/11 marked a day which changed the world as a whole. I've been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful memorial pools and museum dedicated to the victims in New York City, and once you have the opportunity to view them in person you feel incredibly humbled. Yesterday as I stood in front of my students, most of whom were born in 2004, I realized that these kids don’t have the same memory connections that someone of my age or older has. They read about the terrorist attacks on the US as history, the way I would read about the fall of the Berlin Wall, and I’m taken aback by the idea that the world has moved so much in what feels like so little time. I look on as my students read about 9/11 in their textbooks, they look at the pictures with no personal connection and I realize that they are the proof that time moves forward even after tragedy and that we move right along with it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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