In 11 years, I will remember feeling the same sadness, fear, and also interest about the Boston bombings as I did with the 9/11 attacks. However, my experience when I was nine and my experience now with media coverage of tragedy are very different.
Back in 2001, September 11th triggered my household's flight from our East Village apartment to my mother's apartment on Long Beach. Ten years after that, Hurricane Sandy hit Long Beach.
Many of those who have served on behalf of our nation will need our help as they transition home to our communities. The mental health providers who work with service members and veterans across the country every day hear it firsthand.
9/11 is a day I will never forget where I was and what I was doing. It's burned into my memory and often replays at the oddest moments. In my mind, I always wonder what I would have done.
As we look to the past, we remember a day when towers fell, and buildings blew apart, a day when hatred seemed to have the final say, and we as a country were amazed at our own "failure of imagination."
We all remember, as if it were yesterday, the feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and anxiety that rose from the core of our souls as we saw the smoke rise from Ground Zero, the Pentagon in flames, and the smoking airplane wreckage in Shanksville, Pa.
When the first tower fell, my heart stopped. When the second fell, I don't remember whether I wanted to cry, but I know, 11 years later, I wouldn't have been able to. I was paralyzed. I felt both powerless as an American and that America was powerless.
In the course, aptly titled, "Historicizing 9/11," students at Connecticut College, a small liberal arts college in New London, have put forth their own history of 9/11 by making a documentary based on oral histories that they conducted of New London residents.
We are at a crossroads. We can be the vapid, self-consumed generation with our tweets and posts about nothing but our own microcosms or we can take advantage of this time and learn from the precedent set by the "greatest generation."
Ten years ago Saturday, a far-reaching and convoluted bill was enacted. It created a new government agency that most Americans think is a big hassle, if not worse.
My mother likes to say that her children had saved her life multiple times by being late to school. September 11 was such a time.
Everyone has their story, the progression of memories triggered by the date, or a set of words, or that question used for tragedy after tragedy: "Do you remember where you were?"
Being part of generation 9/11 was not something I, or anyone of my generation, chose.
It was my second day of kindergarten, I was five years old, and four blocks away from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This is my story.
After 9/11, Americans banded together to rebuild the infrastructure, the economy, and the soul of the country. We have retained our resilience and are looking towards the future we play a part in shaping.
We need not look far to find the Ravanas of our time... They are us -- at our weakest, basest, and grossest; people of faith, in our darkest moments of hypocrisy.