Tag Archives: 9/11

9/11 Watershed Moment

A few musings and ramblings on this watershed moment for millions of Americans.

A watershed moment is a point in time that changes everything; like the murder of President Kennedy, the crash of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the moment the towers fell. We all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first saw the video of the attack on the World Trade Center. Since I customarily worked until two or three in the morning I was in bed when I got the phone call.

“Dad, are you watching TV?” my son asked.

“No,” I replied. “You woke me up.” I turned on the television just as the second plane hit.

“What does this mean?” he asked.

I simply told him, “It means we’re going to war.”

Watershed moment. There’s a place high in the mountains of Colorado that attracts many tourists. It’s a spot along the Continental Divide where you can theoretically drop a speck of water and the drop splits in half, with one half eventually ending up in the Atlantic Ocean and the other half ending up in the Pacific. One is the Atlantic Watershed, the other is the Pacific Watershed. A spot or an instant in time that changes everything. 9/11 did that for millions of us.

Today, I heard an NPR discussion about the fact that 25% of all Americans have absolutely no memory of that moment. They explained that kids under fifteen or sixteen were either not born yet or were too young to have any memories of that disaster. I was momentarily stunned to realize that so much time has passed yet the memory is so deeply burned into my mind. To kids 9/11 is just ancient history, not a real razor-like scar on the collective conscious.

Life is odd. And Time is a demon.

May it never happen again.