Ask anyone about the event they remember most vividly, and depending on age you’re bound to get a variety of answers.
You may hear about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the attack on Pearl Harbor, or the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
To many current college students and young adults, however, these are merely chapters in a history book. The events that these people remember most vividly are the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Many people remember exactly where they were, what they were doing and what emotions they felt when the events unfolded that day. It was an event that changed everyone’s lives; some more than others.
Today, 11 years later, some would say that the event doesn’t mean as much as it once did. This may be true, since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which came as a result have mostly wound down. The people blamed for organizing the attacks have, for the most part, been brought to justice.
Though the emotional or perhaps physical wounds have healed, the event will never lose its meaning in the minds of those who observed it first hand.
The 9/11 attacks may slowly be fading from the public consciousness, and for those born around the turn of the millennium who either weren’t alive or too young to grasp the situation will most likely only hear about this in a history book.
But to those who were alive and cognizant of it, this event will live on. As college students this is our Berlin Wall or Pearl Harbor moment.
Just as people who lived through World War II are passing on, one day in the not-so distant future this generation will hold the story of September 11th and the events that followed. A history book can tell about the facts of an event like this, but it is up to those who have lived through it to tell about the feelings, emotions and individual stories associated with it.
We’re bound to encounter another event like the 9/11 attacks in our lifetime. And when the time comes, we will be impacted just as much as that fateful day 11 years ago.