It’s amazing to me that I’m teaching students who were born the year of the 9/11 tragedy. They didn’t wake up that morning to see shocking footage of airplanes hitting the World Trade Centre, the horror on New York citizens’ faces, the drama unfolding day by painful, anxious day while George W. Bush was about to be put to the test, one that would change American politics, the climate of acceptance and religious/non-religious rights and freedoms to this day. All of this happened 14 years ago. I was in junior high and I remember walking to school feeling numbed; we would go to war, there might be nukes, there might be more attacks… what was about to happen? I was an anxious kid and the unknown made it a scary world to step into and out of for the next few months at least.
I can’t believe 14 years can go by so fast that we don’t notice passing years until suddenly on the anniversary of a major event it’s like a flip cartoon of every single memory, human being I’ve known that’s come and gone, heartbreak, triumph, victory, pitfall and failure happening at rapid speed but only on a page. On the day after 9/11 I rode my bike to the local record shop and picked up the Joydrop album and then I biked to my friend’s birthday party at Jasper Pizza Place. I put the album on that night and Tara Slone singing “It feels like the end of summer/Feels like our last goodbye/Feels like we’re letting go/This is our swan song” suddenly rang truer than true. It echoed and permeated throughout all the years of my young inexperienced life and forever more, when I hear “Swan Song” by one of my then-favourite bands, I think of 14 years ago.
Time goes quickly. Anniversaries serve as a reminder of that, at least.