9/11 is my generation's Kennedy or King assassination: you will always remember what you were doing on that day. I was a junior in high school. I was excited about going to a concert the next night, mostly because the ticket had cost fifty bucks, which was no small amount of money for a sixteen year-old who didn't have a job. Naturally, it was cancelled. I was sitting in the classroom of my legally blind chemistry teacher (most people think it's the beginning of a joke when I say that, but nope, and he was also one of the finest educators that I've ever had) when the towers came down. The television in the classroom was supposed to be closed-circuit, but that took all of five minutes to work around.
9/11 is the beginning of a series of tragic anniversaries around the globe, most of which will not be used as political bludgeoning tools or merchandise, but will also not be granted the dignity of memorials and long moments of silence. Nearly eight years after the fact, 9/11 took my brother from me. I know that I am far from the only one who has a tragic anniversary made possible by 9/11, just as I know that not all of them are American. Many, maybe even most, of these dark days on the calendar were unavoidable. Doesn't make their ripples any less painful for all that they pass by without comment.