It’s September 11, 2011. Ten years ago I was only 12. I remember how I found out; we were sitting in my 7th grade science class and there was a rumor going around that the twin towers had been hit by a plane. “What are the twin towers?” I wondered. “Is this a joke?” In third period there was an announcement, the towers indeed had been struck, not by one, but by two planes. I think the biggest emotion I felt was confusion. “Was this real? Who is Al Queda? I thought Muslims were good.” To be completely honest I am not sure my young mind completely grasped the gravity of the situation. In fact, I still don’t think I do.
Perhaps it is because, half of my life our country has been at War. The important half too. . . The half where I began to form my own opinions, think critically, and be shaped into the person I am today. A part of me feels guilty for not feeling as bad as some people do today. I wasn’t interested in any of the memorial events this week; I didn’t donate to any memorial funds. Yes I recognize the gravity of the situation, but I can’t really feel much pain from it.
I truly believe a lot of it has to do with growing up in an age where everything is right in your face. In Vietnam they had television coverage of the war yes, but now we have it being blasted at us from 20 million sources in 20 million ways. In order to cope I a lot of us have become desensitized to things of that nature, because we now see it every day; another bomb killed 20, a story on a family left behind, all of this negativity has been broadcast straight into our lives for years. The only way some of us can deal with it is to develop a sort of apathy barrier. It’s not that I don’t care, but in order to keep our sanity we have to ignore the gravity of it at times, if not we become paralyzed with fear.
Another factor plays into this apathy of our generation is the fact that we see so much of it from a screen. The screen helps us believe it’s not real; the screen lets it be ok for us to not feel. We don’t have to face the families that were affected; we simply can watch them from the outside, as if it was some soap opera. I’m sure if I met a victim’s family or talked to one of the firefighters or officers that were there I could actually feel the gravity of everything, I am not cold hearted, just desensitized.
Perhaps I have just been able to move on faster than most. You can't change the past, but you can always look ahead to the future. I look forward to a future that is free of war, free of hunger, and full of joy. I see what has been as a lesson, but not something to sit and wallow in.
I know this post is a little off color and not what you would expect. I do want to hear from others. Am I the only one that feels this way or are there others? I do ask that you be respectful. I’m simply being honest with how I feel.