The 9/11 Generation Comes of Age

Written by Staff Writer

911 Tribute Lights Courtesy Kim Carpenter911 Tribute Lights Courtesy Kim CarpenterThe 9/11 Generation Comes of Age -Wall Street Journal
"It's always difficult to determine precisely when an epochal event makes the transition from memory to history, but 2019 may well mark that moment for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This week's 18th anniversary can be seen as both the legal coming-of-age of the cohort born in the wake of al Qaeda's assault and the generational passing of the torch from the children of the Cold War to the children of the war on terror....Many members of the '9/11 Generation'

- the young Americans who have come of age in a world still wrestling with the consequences of the day - remember not so much the events themselves as the way they were refracted through the emotions of the adults around them. Beau Garner, who lived in Michigan and was just 3 on 9/11, said, 'My only memory is my mom standing in front of the TV watching the news.'....For many, al Qaeda's attacks marked a profound moment of growing up. 'I just couldn't understand why anyone would want to hurt so many people,' recalled Kristin Camille Chez, who was a fifth-grader in Florida in 2001....We rarely know precisely how milestone events transform entire generations, even as we note the way that those who came of age during the Great Depression so often remained frugal and how those who lived through Vietnam and Watergate tended to doubt national leaders and institutions. We don’t yet know what the lasting impact will be of coming of age in a country engaged in seemingly perpetual war....The 9/11 generation, numbering roughly a quarter of the U.S. population, has never known the peace, security and swagger that pervaded America in the 1990s - when the political scientist Francis Fukayama could proclaim 'the end of history' on American terms."