This year marked the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 hijacking,where masses of all ages and ethnicities gathered to pay tribute and unite across the nation, including the bay area, despite differences in politics and age.
“I think for a brief moment in history, the entire country was united. Unfortunately, that unity soon gave way to fear…” Jim Woodbury 31 at the time.
Many of the people honoring those who fell had different connections to the crashes but not all had the same attachment to the tragedy. A disconnect from older generations who felt like survivors,witnessing or remembering the attacks.
“I was scared for other people, worried a lot, and discussed what happened with my family. I was in panic, like it had happened to me… I saw people crying, [on TV] running looking for help to be saved and to survive,” Diana Osaulenko was 13 years old in 2001.
Compared to the older generations, younger generations could only recollect learning about the tragedy through school, a documentary, or on an anniversary.
“I don’t recall”, An overarching theme received from the younger crowd; Who were too adolescent for a grip on politics, the Bush administration, or the affect on the world.
“I was in Kindergarten, we were sitting on the carpet for storytime, I remember that our teacher informed us that a bad attack had happened on the other side of America.” Mario Cruz age 5 during the attack.
An underlying trauma from the plane hijackings was still sensed from every person. Iris Perez was 10 years old.
“I only remember worrying about all the people who were hurt by the accident and wondering why that had happened.”
In almost every survey and interview collected, a sense of confusion was felt around this tragic day. Like other Americans in the following weeks of 9/11, they lacked reasoning, understanding or an explanation for the devastating attacks.
“As a child, I didn’t really question it. The world wasn’t really that expansive to me at that time so I didn’t really think about it.” Mario Cruz
“The misleading of American minds was pitiful. They ( Bush administration and media) used buzzwords and made statements that caused fear rather than solutions to uncover the truth rather than horrible news that was slanted”, Regina Tardy age 38 during the attack.
The commonalities between generations are the heartfelt sentiments, fear, and concern for the ones lost and their own safety. Most residents of the Bay Area were not directly affected from the attacks on the World Trade Center in NY and their responses mimicked that.
Maza Cemazatl Jimenez-Huitzilopochtli, age 3 during the attack said, “It makes me sad for people who have been affected personally, it’s such a huge collective loss”, She now honors the date “just reflecting on the day and recognize that this has affected so many lives and it’s important to be sensitive to that.”