Matt's Memo: September 11th generation

In the middle of our live broadcast from the State Fair a proud mother interrupted an off-air moment to introduce herself. She was with her three children and husband. One of her daughters was on the verge of her tenth birthday. She was just days away. Her daughter was born just after 7:00 am on the morning of September 11th, 2001. She was one of the last children born in the pre-9/11 world.

The rest of the family TMs day was bittersweet. A newborn child was healthy and happy and so was her mother. Until the planes hit the buildings. The day pivoted into one of fear and anxiety. What would this new world be like for a child who was only a few hours old?

In those hours and days that followed no one really knew. Then it turned into weeks and months. Now it has been years, in fact, an even ten. Planes have flown securely over that time. Buildings have been largely reconstructed with memorials nearby. Wars have been fought. The terrorist leader has been killed. The calendar has turned, month after month. Yet, still the pain remains under the surface.

In a heartbeat we can all remember where we were that morning. It was our Pearl Harbor, our President Kennedy or our Challenger disaster. We all remember except for the baby that was not two hours old or the children who were yet to attend their first day of school. They only know the stories they TMve been told, the stories they TMve read and the stories they TMve watched on Youtube.

Just as Pearl Harbor struck the greatest generation and then became the history lessons of the baby boomers so too is September 11th beginning its move back a generation. It is an unstoppable phenomenon.

I had a conversation in a retail store the other day about the solemnity of September 11th. How we couldn TMt see it ever becoming another Memorial Day kick off to summer reason for giant s. How we couldn TMt see it becoming a Veteran TMs Day long weekend. Those days too once carried more meaning. It will be up to the post-September 11th generations to make sure this day doesn TMt share the same fate. And maybe that generation will allow the one born two hours to soon to feel like she too belongs.

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