Tower Editorial: Sculpted by Steel
September 27, 2012
Filed under Quill
Each generation is sculpted –some with clay, some with marble. The ‘30s and ‘40s brought us the Greatest Generation. With the ‘60s and ‘70s came free love and war protests. Regardless of the moniker that will inevitably be chosen for us, our generation has been sculpted by steel.
We all have a story about 9/11. Some of us were in school, pulled out abruptly, stricken with fear and confusion. Some were at home, the comfort and safety of family juxtaposed with the chaos and terror of the day. One theme runs throughout: none of us was sure of what had happened.
For our generation, this was not merely a “day that would live in infamy” –it was a day that would shape the rest of our lives. In a very real sense, nothing would ever be the same. From pat-downs at the airport to bag checks at ball games, our sense of security is gone. While in many ways we are more secure than we ever have been, it certainly doesn’t feel that way.
These experiences make up the materials that formed us. The images of those we saw jump from the Towers are forever paired with the images of heroism we saw from the first responders. The names of those who fought for their lives on Flight 93, while eternally etched in our memory, must be commemorated in the context of the crippling fear of the days that followed.
That seems to be the way of things –great achievements follow grave tragedies. On the 12th of September, 2001, we still didn’t have a clue. We felt the same confusion we had felt at 8:46 AM the previous day. No matter what came next, it came in that context. For better or worse, these are the moments that made us who we are today –a generation sculpted not only by the severed limbs and molten steel we saw in the wreckage, but also by the bravery and heroism that could only have risen up from our darkest hour.