“Same as it Ever was.”

My oldest child was seven and a half months old on 9/11/01. I remembering being at work, where I investigated child abuse and neglect 37.5 hours a week, and thinking that the world was coming to an end. Dramatic and fatalistic as that thought was, I can confidently look back now and see that I was wrong. The world was not coming to an end, it was ushering in a new age.

An age of violence and terror and hate.

Image result for 9/11

My 15 year old has never known a world–but more especially, an America–where an occurrence of a mass shooting or a suicide bombing comes at much of a surprise.

You know why? Because he has no memory of our country and our planet being anything other than violent, terrifying, and hateful.

Those of us who can draw a comparison usually do so with wringing hands and calls for ways to find the “bad guys” and “bring them to justice.” There is a lot of finger pointing by those who say that not enough is done by “those guys” to ensure “these senseless tragedies” won’t happen again.

Anyone with an opinion to share has one.

Everyone with an opinion to share has someone to blame.

When the onus is assigned to someone else to fix the problem because “they” were the ones to get us into this mess, the blame assigners tend to step back, having decided that the problem is not theirs to remedy.

With everyone holding up mirrors to everyone else, it’s no wonder nothing has changed.

While 9/11/2001 was not the end of the world, it was end of my sense of comfort and safety here on American soil. The last fifteen years have shown me, time and time and time and time again, that what we are giving this generation of children a only a sense of mild fear and a great deal of complacency. The threat is always there, therefore the fear is merely mild; when the victim is someone else, it’s easy to say “oh that’s too bad,” and get right back to SnapChatting.

Since our upcoming generation has no pre-9/11/-2001 memory, they have come to define their world as filled with anger and violence and hate. Their lack of outrage is understandable: they’ve not known a world any different. Our lack of action–as those who can clearly recall life before the Twin Towers fell–is also, sadly, understandable: we’re so routinely exposed to these reports that we have developed “violence fatigue.”


I’m tired of the violence. I long for 8/31/2001 and the years I knew of peace that preceded it.




6 thoughts on ““Same as it Ever was.”

  1. Amen. It’s so easy to feel helpless and hopeless in such a world, and totally powerless. But for my own sake, as well as my daughter’s sake, I can’t let the fear overwhelm me. I can’t let a retaliatory hate grow in me. And I have to keep love in my heart. I loved Lin-Manuel Miranda’s words as he accepted his Tony Award for Hamilton, in the form of a sonnet, and partly in reaction to the Orlando shooting: “Love cannot be killed…love is love is love is love…”


  2. I find it interesting that you pine for a period when the progressive left was not in power while aligning yourself in a prior post with the progressive movement. Can’t have it both ways Jenna.


    1. 9/11/01 came right on the heels of eight years of WJC. GWB had only been in office for fewer than eight months after his appointment to office by a conservative and overreaching USSC. The progressive left has never been in power. My essay was a reflection on a point in time and not an attempt to speak out of both sides of my mouth.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think everyone has had that thought at some point. And it seems to me that it’s just getting worse and worse, but when I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and thought how everyone watching Germany invade one country after another must have thought the same thing, that the world is ending.

    I’m not sure how not to get “violence” fatigue in our culture where the media serves it up to us on such a regular basis. You raise some excellent points.

    Liked by 1 person

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