It's been 10 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. In memory, filmmaker Andrew Jenks ("World of Jenks," "The Zen of Bobby V") has produced a short film in which a cross-section of the country's millennial generation give their personal accounts of that historic day: where they were, who they were with and how 9/11 has impacted their lives. Watch the video after the jump.
As millennials, we grew up in an age with dual lives: one similar to that of our parents, and one that exists completely in cyberspace. We are not necessarily a generation of "me" (that's a quick and easy assumption to make), but we are a generation whose lives are being archived for us, in real time, and for all to see, like and comment. This is unique to our generation.
9/11 gave us a larger purpose. It was a brutal reality check that, as Americans, we are not untouchable. We suffered such incredible loss yet at the same moment we learned the true meaning of courage, bravery and hope. Now, 10 years later, we understand the tremendous value in giving back. This larger arc penetrated so deeply into our generations’ mind-set that we not only saw the value in helping others, we actually saw endless opportunities. Our country had hit rock bottom, only to see its spirit remain intact. In a backwards way, it gave us unshakable confidence.
We praise pop-culture icons like Lady Gaga because she simply does her. No exceptions, no excuses. As a generation that demands transparency, we desperately seek those who are who they are.
But a problem still persists: The leaders of our country still cannot unite. They are not giving us any signs of hope. They are not being who they really are. So as a result, we don't really care. In a world of ever-growing transparency, a government that is not will never keep up. This isn't just about governing, but our future. We're losing the sentiment that 9/11 gave us about purpose, as individuals and as a whole.
My hope is that this short film results in time for personal reflection, then re-sparks an energy within my generation. Young people turned out in droves to elect President Obama for a reason. And in that spirit, it's up to the millennials again to push their agenda forward, to unleash that bottled energy and showcase what we have archived in the last 10 years.
Share the video and pay tribute to 9/11 by taking action below. Special thanks to Chris Mirigliani, Lewis Rapkin and Jonah Quickmire Pettigrew, all twentysomething professional filmmakers, for giving up their own time and energy to producing and editing this film.