That day’s legacy lives on in U.S. foreignFor more than a decade now, challenges have arisen through the era of September 11. Psychological challenges, work mechanisms, etc., have assisted us to succeed in making our country stronger mentally and physically as it is more difficult for terrorists to create and successfully pull off another spectacular massacre in the United States. As a nation, with millennials beginning to be the largest generation in history, are we fully functional to make vast decisions as a whole with different pasts? We have a stronger defense mechanism now, but are we able to withhold that, as the Nation begins to welcome the millennials?
Millennials are the dividing line. They have experienced a life within September 11 that the older millennials will never experience. We will always have an ongoing threat, and the newer the threat the different the experience will be for the ones going through it. September 11 and the terrorist attacks were memorable for the older millennials because they were there to witness the attack happen. They were able to see first hand how the world was being destroyed emotionally and physically. From one hour to the next, a major change occurred that nobody would have even thought was going to affect their lives forever.
“The day still resonates so strongly for me. Even now, tears come to my eyes. I still feel afraid,”(Hais). An older millennial still remembers the catastrophe like it was yesterday when as compared to a younger generation, September 11, was a day I faintly remember. As a Kindergartener during the attack, I remember sitting in a classroom watching the teachers become irrational and constantly touching the phone lines. I saw the fear, anger, nervousness in my teacher’s eyes. I couldn’t understand what was happening. 9/11 is a subject to me straight from history books. I did live through it, but I couldn’t fully understand at the moment what was happening or even remember.
For a crisis like 9/11, growing up, I was always schooled on our country being attacked; whether it was 9/11 or any attack after that, it felt as if our country was always going to war. Unfortunately, speaking for my own, 9/11 or any attack was just a factor a criteria we needed to learn as students from a history book. It is not a relatable subject for me. 9/11 was and always will be an awful event and I will never begin to understand why people would want to cause such pain and agony to an entire nation. Eventually, as 9/11 was always taught in schools, I will understand why we are constantly at war. The pain never stops and it never will bring to terms that although 9/11 was 17 years ago and the millennials now are beginning to forget, the pain will always hit home to the older generation. The pain will always be an excuse to constantly have a war on terror.
September 11 did shape the newer generation ( millennials) in a way where we are more aware that attacks can happen at any moment and become a part of history. Although some of us faintly remember September 11, older millennials expect an attack at any moment whereas the younger millennials as just beginning to understand that a moment can now. Millennials wake up every day normally living their daily routine; even after an attack because we don’t know what it’s like to witness a historical disaster like September 11. The older millennials live life in the edge. “They belong to a generation that has lived in a state of terror for so long that they wonder if millennials are desensitized to terror attacks.”
As part of a newer generation, I can say we have been sheltered from what is going on in our lives. On the news and through television, I see all the terror attacks that happen in Other parts of the country. When it’s not happening in my country, it’s easy to ignore it and not feel traumatized. The older millennials remember what it was like to live without fear before September 11. When September 11 hit, they remember their friend enlisting immediately. They remember losing loved ones, not getting in touch with family, and fearing if it was going to be their last breath.
September 11 has been sewed onto societies brains and hearts. Every detail from that day, and every horrific catastrophe after that. Has affected us as a country. It has even brought us closer together regardless of the dividing line. We share a sense of having to always be on our toes and unfortunately be ready for the next attack.
“There was a collective understanding that life, as we knew it, had been forever altered. In addition to everything else it represents, September 11 created a fault line which cleaved the millennial generation in two. 9/11 is our equivalent to Pearl Harbor,”(Hais).
I am part of a millennial generation. Many do not understand what that means and they do not associate us with the terror attacks that happened after the 2000s. I grew up seeing attacks around the world and watching it transpire. Although I only understood it through the history books, I still became the dividing line between the older millennials and my own.
September 11 ended up fitting into my lifestyle. It has taught me the value of being able to wake up and enjoy life as it is. At any moment, your life can change at an instant, especially through catastrophe. I may not have lived through September 11 like the older generation, but learning about it through history books and schooling, it has definitely opened my eyes to how my life would have turned. I have an immediate response for safety and concern not only for myself, but for others around me. I sympathize with those who lost a great deal during the attack.
“That day’s legacy lives on in U.S. foreign and domestic policy, and it has shaped generations of people, how they see the world and themselves.” I do not live in fear, because I do not remember nor have I experienced what real fear is. I live my life the same way the new millennials do as opposed to the older millennials, they connect more with what it’s like to actually live hour by hour; I wake up ready for my next task of the day, while those who lived through September 11, wake up ready to conquer the day.