How 9/11 Reshaped My Generation

Partisanship aside, it’s time to move forward together.


By Edmund Young


Fifteen years ago, I had just returned from the college dining room to my dorm room to get ready for class. It seemed like a normal day, nothing particularly special or out of the ordinary.


I sat down at my desk to put things in my bag for my classes that day and then went online to talk with some friends until it was time to leave.


As my friends and I talked about everything and nothing, one of them interrupted the conversation and said a plane just hit the Twin Towers. At first, none of us believe them and then another person said it’s true it’s true.


Not having a TV in my dorm room, I ran out to the dorm’s lobby and everyone was frozen where they stood watching the events unfold. At first, like everyone else I want to do believe it was just a horrible accident; this was a tragic accident; a plane malfunction, adverse weather effects, or maybe something happen to the pilot health-wise.


Then the second plane hit the other tower, a third hit the Pentagon, then a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. That was a day that not only America changed but the world changed. I finally understood how my grandparents’ generation felt the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. September 11th became the day that would reshape my entire generation.


My generation lost its innocence and the generation after has never had it due to the conflict and loss we had. Today I’ll be taking a moment, probably lots of moments, the think and reflect on what’s happened in the last fifteen years. Remembering those that we’ve lost in the attacks and lost in the conflict since then.


I will also think of the students I teach every day. The students who don’t know of a world before September 11th. The generation that is now in school does not get the benefit of living carefree in the world and society where everything is always good. This experience, this privilege of childhood, was taken away before they even were alive.


Today, on this day of remembrance, I encourage you all to take a moment and remember all those that we lost, all that we’ve lost ever, and be grateful for all that we still have.


Partisanship aside, it’s time to move forward together.


Ed Young is a local teacher who has taught in central Florida for the last twelve years. He is a longtime Seminole County resident, financial conservative, and advocate for conserving Florida’s natural resources. He is an elected member of the Seminole County Soil & Water Conservation District where he represents Group 4 and currently serves as their treasurer. He has conducted surveys of state parks for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and presented to various community groups and organization of the benefits of solar energy.