It has been a decade since the tragedy that defined our generation took place. While the world has radically changed, the post-9/11 world is the only one we truly know.
Over the past 10 years, weâ€™ve grown up. Weâ€™re no longer the elementary and middle school students who watched the tragedy unfold on TV before going to school. Weâ€™ve seen the Taliban and Saddam Hussein fall, two endless wars and watched as Americaâ€™s ultimate antagonist, Osama bin Laden, was killed.
We heard calls for America to unite as a nation, for us to let go of our prejudices, to emerge into a more unified consciousness. We heard calls to let go of the inevitable anger that has scarred us since the attacks and to move forward.
But we donâ€™t know anything other than the anger and uncertainty that has plagued our nation since the attacks. For better or for worse, weâ€™re a generation defined by long airport security lines and paranoia, by faraway wars and the inescapable images of the crumbling World Trade Center.
The 9/11 Generation isnâ€™t more tolerant or accepting than the generations before us. We still have the same cultural and political divisions. Ten years later, we arenâ€™t the stronger, more unified nation we had dreamt of after the tragedy.
The impact of the Sept. 11 attacks is still unknown. As a generation, weâ€™re still trying to heal, and still trying to come to terms with how it defines us.
We still live in the shadow of 9/11, and it will be a difficult one to escape.
In the next 10 years, hopefully our generation will find its own definition, a way to become stronger and a way to move past the tragedy on that September morning and actually learn something from it.
And maybe then we will be more than the 9/11 Generation, and instead the generation that made a real difference.