Welcome to the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Of all the world events I’ve seen, that one seemed most likely at the time to “change everything.” Change, we got … but certainly not the magnitude or scope to qualify as “everything.” In the ensuing years I’ve seen several events that really ought to have changed “everything,” either for the world or for me personally – and they all seem to recede into the same grey mush of things-past.
The most enduring legacy of 9/11 seems to be the fact that I have to take off my shoes before getting on an airplane, and that’s just pathetic. America started two wars over those attacks. We seem to be wrapping up one of them, but the other is just getting underway again. Turns out that merely killing a few tens of thousands of people and building a hospital or twenty doesn’t alter the structure of a nation over the medium term. Meanwhile the epicenter of malevolent craziness in the world has shifted such that we seem to be doing clean-up on yesterday’s news.
I find it valuable to pause for a moment on anniversaries like this, and consider where I was, where I was trying to go, and where I am.