Ten Years Later Sunday September 11, 2011

Ten years ago, I probably never thought I would write a post like this. At the time when the attacks occurred I was just a naive 21 year old student at the University of Calgary. Like everyone in North America, I watched in horror as the events unfolded. I sat there in awe as the news reports of the attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington rolled in. I worried for my dad flying back from Saudi and I thought for all the poor souls who’s lives were lost earlier that day.

Analysts of the time described this moment as one my generation and generations below us would never forget. They said that it would change the world. It would be a defining moment akin to Kennedy’s assassination and the Cuban missile crisis. As a young adult, who although somewhat knowledgeable of the world was still pretty young and fresh, it was hard not to be somewhat skeptical. I’d seen tanks roll by my old childhood apartment in Kuwait during the Gulf War. My parents had told me of the bombings in Ireland & England during the troubles and my dad had subjected me to hours of documentary footage of World War II. At the time, I was somewhat numb to the concept of war, but I had never really lived through a real all encompassing war. Would this really change things? Would it really destroy our collective innocence?

I was wrong. It changed everything.

Ten years later, I sit in Arlington mere blocks away from the Pentagon Memorial and under the shadows of the flight path – it is impossible to escape some sort of emotion. The streets near our apartment are quiet this morning and there is an eery feeling that occurs when a plane passes overhead heading towards Reagan Airport.

As a Canadian living in DC, it can feel almost voyeuristic to be in this city during this time. I’ll never know the pain of people who lost loved ones or saw the damage first hand. But the events of 9/11 have changed every aspect of our society. Everyone’s lives have been changed. I now have family members who have served in Afghanistan. We’ve met great friends in DC who were deployed overseas. And our work as a couple has been indirectly influenced by the events of that day. Without question there is a different shadow looming over our lives now, one that didn’t exist in the early days of the 2000s. As I look back now those days feel naively innocent in comparison to what life is like now.

So, some ten years later, I will take time today to pay my respects – to think of everyone who have lost their lives on that day and during the years following and to think of how life has changed.

Categories: The-Southern-Neighbours, the-dc,

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