I was 12 years old, sitting in my 7th grade French Class. The health teacher from the next room stuck his head in to tell us a plane flew into the World Trade Center. We went home early. My mom was watching the news.
That’s all I remember.
I had no concept of what was going on. I didn’t even know what the World Trade Center was. I did not comprehend how this was supposed to affect me.
I would like to start off by saying in the years since, the attacks on Sept. 11th have obviously had a profound impact on my life; all of our lives. It was a terrible tragedy that will never be forgotten. My heart goes out to all those affected.
But I have to wonder, in this era of carefully crafted social media statuses, how many people ACTUALLY remember how they felt in that moment. It seems like a day that should encourage people to do good in the world, to make change, to come together… has turned into a day where people throw up pictures of the towers, make sure everyone knows that they remember where they were, and then we all just go about our business.
I don’t remember how I felt that day, but I know how I feel today. I don’t feel patriotic. We’re on the verge of another war we shouldn’t be fighting. The economy is in shambles. Most notably, no one is nice to one another. It sounds petty, but I can’t help but feel that if these bleeding hearts with the tower pictures on their timelines would actively go out into the world and try to change someone’s life for the better today, perhaps this country could start making small steps in the right direction. We could ACTUALLY come together for a day and figure out what we want for the future. And then maybe we could come together for a week. And little by little, we could stop arguing about whether to blame the Democrats or the Republicans and just get things done.
Tomorrow, it’s likely that everyone will go back to talking about Miley Cyrus. Or Kayne and Kim. Or whatever else happens to be the top news story on TMZ and Buzzfeed. And it’s not because we’re inherently bad people. It’s because the media tries to distract us from what’s really important; that’s how they make money. If we’re interacting with one another instead of being glued to our televisions and computers and cell phones, how can they tell us what we’re supposed to be talking about?
So if you’re someone like me who doesn’t know how they felt in 2001; if you don’t remember, or simply didn’t feel anything, it’s OK. What’s more important is how you feel TODAY. RIGHT NOW. IN THIS MOMENT.
Me? I’m frustrated, but hopeful. Still waiting on the world to change.