I wanted to write something after we hit the 10th anniversary of 9/11, because I was unsure how I would feel.
My reaction surprised me. All this time later, I still feel robbed.
I graduated high school in June 2001. I turned 18 that July. Like so many that graduated that summer, I was just trying to figure out what being an adult was all about. At that point, as an age group, we didn’t have much to go on.
We were moving into dorm rooms, starting jobs or leaving our hometowns for the first time. We kept hearing the best four (or five) years were just beginning.
On that Tuesday morning 10 years ago, the class of 2001 grew up.
Before that day, our biggest worries consisted of that looming math test, or who we were going to have dinner with at the student union that night. After 9/11, people we had screwed around with in math class were suddenly shipped off to the Middle East to face circumstances no 18-year-old should have to face.
I remember thinking in the weeks that followed, “My friends? War? That was stuff my grandpas did. Stuff my great uncles did. Not people my age. Not my friends.”
And now, 10 years later, as we collectively knock on the door of our thirties, it’s all we’ve ever known of the adult world.
That makes me feel…robbed.
As adults, we’ve had a life of worrying about our safety as a nation. Worried about friends and family members who might not come home from deployments. Worried about finding a job that will pay us enough to live on. Worried about the financial future this country holds for our children. We’ve had an adult lifetime of people who see political disagreement as justification to be hurtful.
I hope that in 10 more years, when the class of 2001 is approaching 40, we live in a different world, and I hope we’re some of the people leading that change. A world without such threats, a world without such divisiveness. I hope we live in a world where our troops are here at home.
I hope we live in the world we’ve never known.