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The Melting Pot

A digital, cultural conversation

On the Metro. At school. Walking to work. Eating breakfast. The most mundane and trite of tasks seem to capture that date and time of the attack on America in 2001.

I remember it was a gorgeous September day – the sky was blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. It was summer, but just on the cusp of a transition to autumn; a day far too nice to be spending indoors.

Variations of the question “where were you on 9/11?” have seeped their way into the Internet over the past week, resulting in story after story reinforcing patriotism, democracy and the glorious principles of America.

The New York Times covered 9/11 in series of cultural impacts after the tragedy; The Washington Post recounted the histories of both young and old on the day of the attacks; even blogs and other media like The Huffington Post, Facebook and Twitter have exploded with content, much of them focusing around the subject of reflecting on the day a decade after the fact.

And the reflections are comforting and helpful in a way that seem to stitch together pieces of America that wouldn’t otherwise be united. You were on your way to work, too? This way, one person can connect to another in a completely different part of the country. Bonds are formed, the tragedy seems lessened, and we can all believe that our country has, ten years later, finally reached the day of the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. hoped for us all. Finally, ten years later, we can sit in a circle, hold hands, and sing songs together.

Perhaps the online media has projected the message the people want to hear: there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and hope for our future. However, the reality is that we are forgetting the two wars as a result of the attacks. We are forgetting the persecution of those in the Muslim faith. We are forgetting the now second-nature tightened security that everyone must face because of extremists.

10 years after the horrific events of that Tuesday morning, what are we supposed to feel? Possibly hope and sad remembrance, of overcoming a difficult period in our history; anger for the anxiety and fear that has prevailed, and shock for the realization that nothing has quite changed.

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