Today marks the 14th anniversary of September 11th, 2001.
14 years is a long time, consider that this year’s high school freshman class was born in 2001. Consider that this year’s high school senior class may have only the smallest recollections of the day. Consider that we are preparing for our 4th presidential election since 2001; meaning that we will enter our 3rd different presidency since 2001.
But of course, that is all time sensitive stuff. People were bound to get older; politics was certain to move on.
This summer, I was in New York and I went to the 9-11 Museum; spent almost 3 hours there. It is there, in the museum that you see what 14 years ago was like.
Some of the exhibits showed artifacts from the day: a touchtone desk phone from the Pentagon; a New York City payphone; a desktop computer.
Now it’s not quite stepping back into the 1950’s; but you do see how long ago 14 years was. A desktop phone, that wasn’t even cordless? How antiquated. A payphone? Who needs one, when everyone and their dog has a cellphone? A desktop computer? What a waste of space.
This comes to mind today as there was a picture circulating facebook last night to be quiet on social media from 8:46-10:28; the 101 minutes from the first tower being hit until it fell, encompassing all that we know so well of the day in between.
What a different world we live in. In college we were all huddled around giant TV screens watching the events unfold. Today, everyone would be checking their phone for updates, and posting their grief, sadness and anger on facebook.
Should we be quiet on social media during that time? Obviously I am not; you can do as you please. But how much our world has changed is reflected in that facebook and Twitter circa September 2001 would most certainly not have been quiet, there would have been a constant stream of prayers, thoughts, emotions and pictures.
Which brings another aspect of the museum to mind: the wall of pictures of missing people. Walls in New York were covered with these pictures, seeking any information about where loved ones might be; today those pictures would be on social media, along with updates of both reunions and continued searches.
How long ago was 14 years? Just consider for a moment how much differently we would experience it today, as opposed to how we experienced it then.
I mean, a pay phone? Seriously?