Thursday, September 11, 2003

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Two years later

I was in Heathrow airport waiting to board a plane home when I heard about the attacks. Unlike U.S. airports, Heathrow does not have TV monitors broadcasting news every 100 yards. The only reason I found out was that I called my wife to let her know I was going to be on a different plane than I'd said. She said, "Thank God you're OK!!" and then told me what happened. By that point both of the towers had fallen and the Pentagon had been hit.

Hearing those facts described over the phone was just bizarre. Seeing the endless replays on television in another country was equally bizarre, though the British were as kind as could be while I was marooned there.

Until 9/11, it was safe to say that my generation had no moment of shared experience equivalent to the Kennedy assassination. I wish I could say that was still the case.

That's all I can muster on the personal significance of 9/11 -- Jeff Jarvis and James Likeks do this better than I.

posted by Dan on 09.11.03 at 11:16 AM


As one who lived through a lot of America's famous traumas (Martin Luther King's murder... JFK was assassinated on my 20th birthday... Vietnam demonstrations, etc.) 9/11 dwarfs them all. There is no comparison since Pearl Harbor.

posted by: Roger L. Simon on 09.11.03 at 11:16 AM [permalink]

What's odd is that, just a few months before 9/11, some 20-something friends and I were commenting on our generation's lack of a shared moment.

The best we could come up with was the Challenger explosion or the Gulf War (not really a moment).

posted by: Joe Grossberg on 09.11.03 at 11:16 AM [permalink]

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