With the amount of heavy news coverage marking the 10 year anniversary of 9/11/2001, I chatted with The Wifey about how we're going to relate our perceived importance of the date to our children. I came to realize that the new generation of children will see 9/11 completely differently than the previous ones.
My sons will never know a world where terrorism wasn't always being brought up or where there isn't some war going on to combat it. They will live their lives not completely understanding "the big deal" about 9/11 and probably scoffing at the fact that so much of their precious media is being devoted to it when they could be watch the Real World season 50 online. All they will probably know is that some buildings fell and think "Man, that sucks" and that their parents were alive and greatly affected by the whole scenario. They will maybe even write a paper to give an oral presentation about how we act when ever someone brings up 9/11. It'll take another terrorist attack(s) for them to truly understand the magnitude of what terrorism can do.
I base this prediction on my own thought about Pearl Harbor. I 've been taught the history behind then event - the sneak attack, the loss of life and military might, the internment camps subsequently enacted, its significance to throw the US into WWII - but it has absolutely no charge for me when its reviewed on The History Channel. I've seen footage, heard eye witness testimony, and have imagined what that could've been like, but I still have no true understanding of that event and it's emotional impact to the folks of that era. I can't expect my kids to care as deeply as I do about 9/11; all I can do is what previous generations have done with these things - teach them to our children and hope that they can take away some kind of life lesson that can be used to prevent/avoid these events in the future.