The clock struck midnight on the West Coast. Hawaii is still a bit behind us, but nevertheless, it is officially 9/11.
No matter what I do, I’ll never be able to get this day, the images and the memories out of my head. for us twentysomethings, this was our Pearl Harbor. This was the day when we, in our adolescence, realized the world would not be what we were being promised. On 9/11/01 our culture’s glass ceiling was shattered in amazing ways.
We had no choice but to rally, heal and adapt.
Fast forward 11 years and the generation of twentysomethings now is dealing with the worst recession since the Great Depression. We went into college with the promise of safety, good jobs and careers would be waiting for us upon graduating, only to find out this was not the case.
Our adolescence was marked by war and the threat of what may no longer be.
Will we experience anthrax when we go get our mail?
Will have to worry about a suitcase nuke?
Adolescence was no longer a time of complete and utter safety. It was a time to ask hard, gritty, tough questions about the world. It was a time to begin to process and ask what exactly will the 21st century hold.
I still don’t know fully why our generation had to go through this period and I may never know. But I do know twentysomethings have seen things we could never have longed for and predicted. I also know it all started on 9/11/01. I know our generation must never forget this day. We must never be lulled into complacency. We must always be vigil.
We must always be asking the hard questions. We must always be willing to rally, heal and adapt to what the world can throw at us.
Twentysomethings have strength and wisdom in us we must embrace, because we were able to survive this dreadful, fateful, horrendous day 11 years ago. If we can withstand this and learn from this, what does a recession have on us? I refuse to wait for year 15 to remember and reflect on what 9/11 means because every day I live is a reminder of how much this day has shaped me.
I can never pretend to ignore it or leave it behind.