8 weeks after: Generation 9/11…

8 weeks after: Generation 9/11…
I cannot think of one event on one day that so changed the future. World War II broke out over years and its implications did as well. But Sept. 11 immediately changed life and lately I’ve been wondering how it will change the future for my children. Newsweek’s cover calls them Generation 9/11. What will this mean to them:

- They will have to be more insecure and probably depressed. Watch for a return of depressing poets and philosophers. Here come Plath and Satre.

- Time will tell whether religion will see a resurgence. On the first weekend after 9/11, churches and temples around here were jammed; on the second Sunday after, they weren’t. Still, I think people — especially young people — will be seeking new meaning.

- There is bound to be a new respect for — actually, craving for — authority. We all want somebody to be in charge and beat these criminals. Where my generation (I’m a young child of the ’60s) questioned all authority; this generation, I think, will embrace it as the WWII generation did. They will become our own parents.

- Patriotism is back with vigor and with no apology. Here, too, our children will be like our parents.

- Watch for the magazine stories about the latest return of the family. Families will at least try to come closer together, to recognize that they, together, are what matters. I see it all around New York: people spending more time with their kids and that will be good if it lasts.

- You might think that this event might lead to ethnic distrust but I’m not so sure. My kids go to school with Muslims and Hindus, with people from Asia and Arabia and South America and even France. I think that will have greater impact than the evil of a few people on one day in September.

Yes, Sept. 11 changed our world but it changed our children’s world more.

- We will need some comic relief and now we’re going to get it with Geraldo Rivera going to FoxNews. He’s not as pretty as Ashleigh Banfield but he’ll be a kick to watch, guaranteed. I’ll watch him. The quotes begin with Geraldo on his ability to run on the battlefield: “I’m very fit. I still box. I don’t smoke. I’d like to find a reporter who can outdistance me. I have a 31-inch waist, a 42-inch chest. I’m still real butch. Courage has never been my problem.” [Via Romenesko]

- The New York Times has had a spectacular series about small, meaningful objects from 9/11. Read last week’s first: about a pair of handcuffs used to dig the last two survivors out of Ground Zero. Then read today’s about the paramedic’s uniform on the man who made that rescue. Previous weeks: A photograph in the rubble. And a great, dramatic tale of a squeegee that was a key to life.

- Germany to contribute 3,900 troops (in German).

- Anthrax hoaxters to be flogged.