They don't remember
Because they were never there.
Try as I might, as a person who writes online I cannot resist the urge to write something about the upcoming anniversary of the September 11th attacks. While I freely acknowledge that there’s little new to be said about that terrible day twenty years ago, it is a moment that has loomed large in our political and social discourse for a generation since, in ways both obvious and pernicious.
Unlike the still-roiling tragedy of our current decade, 9/11 did not directly touch most Americans. Sure, I know a few people who experienced it first-hand, or even who lost a friend or relative that day, but it did not touch everyone’s lives in the way that the pandemic has. It does not diminish the pain and suffering of that day to admit this; it was a personal tragedy for a relative few, and a horrifying spectacle for the rest of us.
And it was a spectacle; visceral, mesmerizing, cinematic horror, the kind of thing that compels one to remember the smallest banalities of where you were and what you …