By Abby Tait
My earliest media memory is Sept. 11, 2001. The news was airing on a television in my small Methodist preschool. Teachers were walking in and out of my classroom, pacing back and forth listening to the headlines stream.
I vividly remember my mom picking me up in her green Volvo station wagon, and rushing home. My parents kept the news on in every room, and stayed on the phone with relatives.
For the next 15 years, every second week of September, there was a school assembly to observe one of the worst tragedies in American history. I remember that day with childhood innocence, not only because of my age, but because of technology’s age that day.
There was only so much my parents/neighbors/teachers etc. could do to get information. There wasn’t Twitter, Facebook, or text messaging to utilize for communication. We had to sit around and wait for more information to come along, and then had to wait for newscasters to relay that information.
Thinking about 9/11 occurring today, I can’t imagine the outcome. I don’t know if more people could have escaped, or lived. Sure, we would have known more faster. But would it have really helped? I’m not sure.
When I’ve reflected on 9/11, I’ve asked my parents for their input because I was so young. My dad recalls that “9/11 was a tragedy. A true calamity. But in its own way, it was beautiful.” It was one of the only times he recalls in his lifetime that Americans came together regardless of race, ethnicity, language, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. We came together to help each other, to lift each other up. We were determined to bounce back and not let the enemy win.
I think a lot of times media divides us. It allows every person to post their opinion. That leads to scrutiny and harsh criticism of each other. In a time of sadness, there is no room for hate. There is no room for divide.
For this reason, I cherish my simplistic memory of such an awful day. I’m glad there was no platform for published opinions about what had just occurred. It kept us united for the time being, and that’s what we needed most.