8 years ago I was in First Year student at Redeemer. I was working my third shift in the food store (back in the days when we had no price scanner and when we still got special "weekend food"). I think that we first started hearing snippets of what was happening around 9am - the school was still pretty quiet at that point. Jane, who was managing the food store and caf at that time, turned on the radio in her van just outside the cafeteria and we all sat on milk crates and listened to the play by play of events. Eventually, we had to go back to work, and as the students started coming into the food store one by one to pick up some groceries for the day the stories kept growing. Four hundred people died. Nine hundred people died. They're saying that over eleven hundred people may have been killed. The numbers kept climbing, and no one really had a handle on what was happening, or who did it.
Back at the dorm after my shift, the TV was already on and there was a note by the phone saying, "Jenn - your brother called. He said to turn on the TV". Micah, a friend of ours from dorm 36, was sitting on the couch with the girls. He was enraged. Micah is a proud American, and was absolutely dumbstruck that someone who do this to his countrymen. The TV stayed on all day, playing the same footage over and over again of the smoke billowing out of the first tower as a plane collided with the second tower. Mayhem and madness.
Everyone has a story of where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with 8 years ago today. It occurred to me last night, however, that the students in their first year this year at Redeemer were in grade 5 on that infamous 9/11. Grade 5! A lot of them had no idea that anything had happened until they got home from school that day. Many of them never saw any news that day, as parents didn't think those images appropriate for their kids. But they have all grown up in a world post 9/11. What does it mean for them to have grown up during the "war on terror"? How has this affected the younger set of the Millennial generation?