Matt Cover, the content editor at conservative news aggregator Rare, brought up an interesting point today, asking when September 11, 2001 will become just another date in history as have so many events that have occurred throughout our nation’s existence.
Cover, whose father survived the attack on the Pentagon, will, as a result, always remember the day. But can the same be said of Americans in generations to come, who were not alive at the time of the worst terrorist attack on American soil?
Yes and no. I remember where I was on September 11—watching CNBC in my office—and also the shock and disbelief at what I had just seen. I remember thinking it had to be a bad dream, that it couldn’t be real, but it was. And I remember the anger that I felt as well as the great sadness for the loss of life of so many innocent people. I will never forget that day for as long as I live. That is probably also true for my wife and two older children who were young teenagers at the time, and to a lesser extent for my then-9-year-old son. But for my 19-month old grandson, and my soon to be born granddaughter, it will be more like the history that I learned of as a child—Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination. Tragic events, but hard to relate to since I either wasn’t born or was too young to remember. 9/11 touched millions of lives throughout the world, but as time marches on it fades a little more each year.
That doesn’t make it right, but it is reality. Unlike those other events, we have an incredible supply of news footage and first-hand accounts of what people saw and experienced, which will serve as a constant reminder of that infamous day. Also, thanks to the Internet, and social media in particular, 9/11 will live on as long as there are people using them to express their feelings and thoughts.
So the question remains. Is 9/11 history, or has it become history?
Thankfully for now, it is the former and not the latter.