Over the past 22 years, so much has been written and said about Sept. 11, 2001.

We’ve all recounted the stories of where we were, who we lost and how we felt. Here in New Jersey and the tri-state area, we felt much more of an impact than the rest of the country and the free world.

While the rest of the United States felt the sorrow, the patriotism and the anger, for us here was personal. Much more personal.

We lost people and we lost much more emotionally. The impact here was as real as it gets.

What may come as a shock to many is that there is a growing number of people who have a different feeling about that day. Don’t forget that when it happened, the internet was in its infancy.

Social media was still five years away and its impact could not have been predicted.

Many young people today look at September 11 as another reason to resent or hate America.

From the conspiracy theories of the government being in on it, or the information that has become available about how the government mishandled it before, during and after.

It’s become less of a sorrowful remembrance of a day, and more of a reason to distrust and mistrust our country. To those of us who lost loved ones just going to work that day or ones who were trying to keep people safe that day, that’s a hard pill to swallow.

The mood right now in the 2020s is nothing like it was just a few years after, and even into the 2010s.

We have a whole new generation of adults that weren’t born or very small when it happened.

Their version of that day is much different than those of us over the age of say 35 or 40. Their experience is that of replayed videos and conspiracy analyses on the internet and social media.

Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Those of us who watched it live in horror and lived with the grief for so long have a tough time sharing that sentiment or mindset.

The rallying cry, which we’ve heard for years “never forget“ has morphed into “never believe" or never agree for the new generation.

That feeling of solidarity that we had so many years ago in the weeks and months that followed September 11, 2001, is long gone.

It’s been replaced by the tribalism and polarization far beyond what we felt before that day.

The only thing we can do is calmly listen to people with different ideas and try to share our truth with them without further dividing us as a People...and pray.

Never Forget: Notable 9/11 memorials in NJ

There are a number of memorials in New Jersey dedicated to remembering the lives of residents lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The sites range from gardens to parks and plaques to statues.

See 20 Ways America Has Changed Since 9/11

For those of us who lived through 9/11, the day’s events will forever be emblazoned on our consciousnesses, a terrible tragedy we can’t, and won’t, forget. Now, two decades on, Stacker reflects back on the events of 9/11 and many of the ways the world has changed since then. Using information from news reports, government sources, and research centers, this is a list of 20 aspects of American life that were forever altered by the events of that day. From language to air travel to our handling of immigration and foreign policy, read on to see just how much life in the United States was affected by 9/11.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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