Will 9/11 Be the Defining Moment of My Generation?

From time to time journalists and producers contact me for feedback on stories they’re working on. I’ve worked regularly with my local paper, for example, the San Francisco Chronicle, on a variety of issues they’re thinking about, from unhealthy school diets in cafeterias to the impact of blogs on their business.

Michelle Melendez, a journalist at Newhouse News Service, a wire service whose articles run in several dozen papers in the midwest and south, recently talked to youth about the lasting effect of 9/11 on my generation. In this piece I pop up once and say 9/11 won’t have as lasting effect as "emerging technologies." Indeed.

Pearl Harbor stamped "the Greatest Generation," the Kennedy assassination marked the baby boomers. Were the terrorist attacks five years ago such a moment for Generation Y?

As Sept. 11, 2001, nears another anniversary, America’s rising youth — together with the scholars and marketers who study them — are pondering its impact on attitudes and outlooks….

Ben Casnocha, 18, of San Francisco, said Sept. 11 has had little lasting impact on his generation beyond inconvenience at airports: "On a day-to-day basis, if you didn’t have someone who you knew who got killed on that day, I don’t think it affects us as much as something like emerging technologies or other things."

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