It shocked me last week when historical footage of Sept. 11, 2001, suddenly looked, well, historical.
Eleven years ago, I thought that day never would age, that the film wouldn’t turn grainy and reflective of a decade’s worth of technological improvements in clarity, color and sound.
Yet, as I watched History Channel documentaries on the eleventh anniversary, the archived media reports seemed, all at once, from a different time.
Has it really been 11 years?
What surprised me even more, however, was having a conversation about 9/11 with my almost 12-year-old son, Ford, who had been just a baby when the World Trade Center collapsed…
I reflected on this with him while I drove him to school last Wednesday. He told me that he had gotten up at 5:00 a.m. and watched a documentary about 9/11 on television. My first thought: Who gets up at 5:00 a.m.? My second thought: My kid is old enough to watch the History Channel … voluntarily?
“And what did you think?” I asked him.
“It’s weird that all of it happened when I was a baby,” he said.
An interesting commentary on qualities of the TV footage that shaped peoples’ perceptions of 9/11.
The attack was designed to be telegenic, marked by visual and sonic spectacle. Yet much of the horror unfolded off-screen: inside the planes and buildings, on the ground immediately below the towers, and in desperate phone calls to loved ones and 911 operators.
Always A Family — On the morning of September 11th, Michael Trinidad called his ex-wife, Monique Ferrer, from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower to say goodbye. In the wake of his death, Monique tells the story of Michael’s lasting legacy — the family they built together.
She Was the One — When Richie Pecorella met Karen Juday, she captured his heart and changed his life. They were engaged and living together in Brooklyn when Karen was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, where she worked as an administrative assistant. Here, Richie remembers Karen, his love and inspiration.
John and Joe — John Vigiano Sr. is a retired New York City firefighter whose two sons followed him into service — John Jr. was a firefighter, too, and Joe was a police detective. On September 11, 2001, both Vigiano brothers responded to the call from the World Trade Center, and both were killed while saving others. John Sr. remembers his sons and reflects on coping with his tremendous loss.
“There is a new generation that is just now learning about what happened back on Sept. 11, 2001. History books, media attention and our schools have been tasked with bringing the tragic events of this day into focus and how it has reshaped our society as a whole. It is important for this young generation to absorb the events of that day and to try and make sense of it all.
We are the curators of American History and each and every parent should take time to talk to their children and let them know why today is a special day in the hearts and minds of each and every American.”
Kotkin says one of the reasons millennials are in this situation is the push for a college degree, which in earlier generations led to a better job.
“In my parents’ generation, the sort of World War II/Depression generation, if you got a college degree you were pretty guaranteed of a decent job because there weren’t that many people with BAs,” he says. “There was a huge growth in the number of jobs that needed these skills, and a relative paucity [of people to fill them]. Now the BA has become a commodity — there are so many of them.
[Bell’] felt that each of them could be classified as “post 9/11” artists.
“Their worldview is defined by the angst, the unease, the trepidation of the difficulties of the 21st century,” he says.
Bell, who’s only 32 himself, admires how these artists unite new technology with centuries-old crafts. They’re using everything from silversmithing to ceramics to explore post-Sept. 11 concerns: globalism, privacy, sustainable living, war.
Mazza, 34, intended [her piece, Knit for Defense] to recall national efforts to knit for soldiers during World War II, when knitting connected civilians to the frontlines. Nowadays, people connect to the wars abroad through Youtube videos. Hence, the knit pixels. Mazza says even though she’s exploring explicitly post-Sept. 11 themes, she’s not really comfortable with the label: “post 9/11 artist.” She doesn’t like the idea of artists being framed by just one thing.