For those old enough to remember, there will always be the time before and the time after. Everyone knew someone. Everyone was affected.
Maybe it was less the actual event than it was experiencing the same collective moment on a shared timeline. The time before symbolizing an era when we were young and carefree and innocent. Though maybe it was never like this. Maybe I’m over idealizing life before 9/11. Maybe 9/11 made us all realize what was always there.
My experience of New York falls in the time after — my first trip to NYC was a couple years after 9/11 when there was still a huge hole in the ground. Time had passed but the memory was still so fresh. We were still hopeful; still at the beginning of a new timeline; still believing we could put it all behind us and be better people; a stronger country. I don’t remember a New York with two twin towers and yet that’s still what I see whenever I look at the skyline. I always see that empty space. I always wonder what could have been.
On a slightly more upbeat note, have you seen this video about the last known living 9/11 rescue dog’s birthday in NYC? Working/service/rescue animals are such unsung heroes. Love.