Half a generation has passed since 9/11: Matt's Memo

Lower Manhattan 2013.

The passage of time leads to the easing of pain. It is a human recovery quality built into our highly sophisticated capacity to recover from tragedy. The further a person is from the epicenter of the grave act the shorter the path to setting aside feelings of despair. Now that September 11th, 2001 is twelve years deep into American history a half a generation of young people have been born since the attacks. The first hand recollections begin to grow more distant.

Two years ago I blogged about a family who delivered a baby as one of the last in the pre-9/11 world. Last year Matt's Memo made the plea to keep September 11th from becoming another barbecue holiday tagged on to a long weekend. This year I ask each of you who do have your personal recollections of the raw emotion of that Tuesday morning to share them with someone younger who may not understand.

There was such uncertainty and fear that morning. America under attack. We did not know when it would end. We could not fathom the level of loss in New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. Airplanes stopped flying. Neighbors and families clung close together. Americans flew the flag anywhere they could.

When September 11th arrives I think of the surviving family members who lost loved ones in New York. They are too close to that center to ever be the same. They deserve our consideration and respect even as a new generation blossoms in a world where the 9/11 attacks push deeper into history.

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