today is september 11th and no matter how many times i hear that it has been six years since that terrible day, it is always hard for me to accept that it wasn't just yesterday that we witnessed the twin towers falling. like all of us, who were old enough to understand, september 11th has become our pearl harbor, our kennedy assassination. there are only a few dates like that in our history, dates that we all experienced collectively - dates that instantly remind each of us exactly where we were, what we were wearing and who we were with at that moment.
i remember hugging my children and sobbing over the fact that our world, as we knew it, would never be the same again. our children would never feel safe to travel, never feel carefree and frivolous, ever again. as far as we, as a nation, were concerned, nothing would ever be the same.
we were wrong. everything is exactly the same as before. my grown children still travel the world with the confidence and freedom of pre 9/11 travelers. true, the airports are a greater hassle, carry on shampoo is no longer an option, and for some reason, having nothing to do with that september attack, the airlines no longer offer free food, soft drinks, pillows or blankets. but let's face it, none of us ever flew for the food anyway, so, as my daughter said on her way to europe, "what's the big deal?"
i really believed that after our country was so brutally attacked we, as a nation, would start putting things in perspective. i really believed that the mere fact of 9/11 would force us to grow up. in the company of most of the civilized nations of the world, we were, although the mightiest, certainly the most immature. i thought that the unprecedented attack on our own soil would shake some sense into us. i was wrong.
in spite of the fact that we are mired in a never ending war and our economy is heading once again into the toilet (it seems like every time those wall street boys get those astronomical bonuses, it is a signal to the rest of us to batten down the hatches) we as a nation are still obsessed with the trivial and the insignificant. in spite of the fact that general petraeus ( or as move on. org. likes to call him, general betray us) and his non-report has garnered all the front page headlines and despite the fact that all the news channels are covering the 9/11 memorials as though it had just happened yesterday, the big buzz around our town is britney.
while i am ashamed to live in a world that is so superficial and dumb that we get our jollies out of watching an out of shape and out of control young girl make a fool of herself in front of, not just her peers, but millions of viewers, i am also glad. as long as the talk around the water cooler is about britney and her post baby body, than maybe the terrorists haven't won after all.