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Millennial Generation and bin Laden’s Death

Friday, July 1, 2011

Technically, I am a member of the "millennial generation", which is anyone born between 1982 to 2000ish, supposedly. I am in huge disagreement with the dates since, as a middle school teacher, if we go by those dates, I would be teaching people of my own generation. Which is just weird.

One of the many reasons I don't think "millennial" should extend to the birth year 2000 is the events of September 11, 2001. I came across this article from The Evangelist a few days after bin Laden's death, which was two months ago today.

Millennial Generation and Bin Laden's Death

The writer of the article was a 7th grader when the September attacks happened. I was a high school junior. Unlike the author, I did indeed know what the World Trade Center was - I had been there before. I did understand what was going on (well, as much as one could in a situation like that), though I was still shocked about it.
Yet, despite the age difference, the author makes a great point:
For adult Americans, this was a heartbreaking attack, perhaps the worst of the many historical events they had seen in their lifetime. But for my generation, this was a defining moment. 
Just as our parents would tell us exactly where they were when President John F. Kennedy had been shot, this would be the day we would tell our children about. 
This was the Millennial Generation's turning point, this was where our childhood ended, where we learned the effects of war, fear, and even hate. People claim my generation lost a decade of childhood/teenage innocence when the US was attacked and perhaps we did.

Many of us were conflicted when bin Laden was killed - I saw it firsthand in many of my friends. Interestingly enough, I've found that, while my young adult friends felt that they should be relieved, they really weren't. And that a vast majority of them held unto the Christian belief that we should not rejoice in the death of another, even our enemy. To my surprise, my Facebook feed was instead full of links and quotes from the official Vatican statement, Martin Luther King Jr quotes (though falsely attributed), and verses from the Psalms and New Testament.

I think my friends holding strong to that belief, amid the "celebrations", says a lot about my generation - we know what's been taken away from us but that doesn't shake our belief in what we know to be true, in what we know to be right.

My favorite sentence of this whole article and what greatly sums it up for us, the Millennials:
We lost something on September 11, 2001, but that doesn’t mean we got it back on May 1, 2011. 
(P.S. Another great link is Seeing Christ in bin Laden by Busted Halo!)

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