The Arapahoe Pinnacle

Fear In Our Daily Lives

Growing Up in a Post 9/11 World

September 11, 2001 was the beginning of an era of fear

September 11, 2001 was the beginning of an era of fear

Image via Robert Giroux

Image via Robert Giroux

September 11, 2001 was the beginning of an era of fear

Sarah Sanchez, Reporter

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I know what it is like to feel happy and sad just like everyone else, but I also know what it’s like to feel the unnecessary fear of daily life.

Imagine going to the airport and not dreading security, taking off your shoes, taking your laptop out, the invasive pat downs, and the full body scans. A lot of people don’t think about it because many of us never lived in that world. People who were very young, or who were born after September 11, 2001 don’t know what a world with less security feels or looks like; we never lived in it. As a 20 year old I am even younger than a Millennial. At the time of the attack, I was three. If someone asked, “Where were you that day?” I wouldn’t be able to answer, because the fact is I wouldn’t be able to remember.

I and many others live in a world where we were taught to live in fear. There might every once in a while be a thought in the back of my head, thinking something terrible might happen. A small worry that is motivated by the daily news, but is easily put to the side and forgotten. We developed the ability to put these constant worries aside by seeing, hearing and acknowledging, but ignoring. If we didn’t we would spend our whole lives panicked.

When I see videos of the attack on 9/11, I think how terrible it must have been to go through that. I think about the people in the towers who never had a chance and the emergency workers who died saving others. Spouses of emergency workers became widows and widowers, single mothers and fathers, and children lost parents.

For an event that happened years ago, the lasting effect of the agony and pain it caused never left. One of my teachers from high school told my class and I the story of where she was on September 11, 2001. She was in high school herself at the time and remembers her teacher bringing in a TV and putting on the news. When everyone in the classroom saw the Twin Towers destroyed and smoking, they went silent. They knew tragedy had struck and lives were lost. Ten years later Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator of the attack, was killed in a targeted strike by US military forces and at the time my teacher was in a bar with her friends. When the news came in about Bin Laden’s death everyone stopped talking, moments later everyone was smiling and celebrating; a victory and glimmer of hope had emerged from the smoke. Hearing this story made me feel sad, then filled with joy. The sadness of those who died and the justice that was served gave me hope and the joy that no matter how much time passes things will always get better.

Most days nothing truly bad happens, but I will always wonder if something will. That’s the world we live in today and the fear we live with.

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