I want to focus on what had happened before 9/11/2001 today. I had just graduated high school, and just turned 18. I was in my 2nd week of college in my dorm.
In high school, I didn't care about politics and world events at all. I didn't listen to public radio, I didn't watch news television, and I didn't read news papers. I knew who my president was, but I couldn't have told you who my senators were, or who my congress member was. I was consumed with marching band, acne, boys, MTV, and starting college.
I entered college and realized how small my world had been thus far. I was mourning a little about the passing of Aaliyah, and was struck by how little people care about that kind of music. My school was a very liberal school, and people mainly listened to Phish, the Grateful Dead, or some kind of indie bands with ü's and ø's in their names. Anything mainstream was looked down upon, so I kept silent about my sadness about Aaliyah. On top of that, people had very strong opinions about politics, and I didn't have one. There were discussions erupting in the dorm hallways about things like Sudan or freeing Tibet, or why capitalism sucked (and I probably didn't even know what capitalism really meant). People had bumper stickers on their dorm room doors with bold messages like, "TAKE YOUR RELIGION OFF MY OVARIES" or "LEGALIZE IT". People identified themselves as a feminists, Democrats, atheists, etc etc. I just didn't really have a clear opinion or an idea about any of those things.
I was starting to be aware what having an opinion might mean, and how important it was to start paying attention to what was happening, both domestically and internationally.
Then, those planes crashed into those towers. From then on, it suddenly became imperative that I find out what the hell was going on in the world. And now I am obsessed with current events and politics.
That's what it was like for me up to 09/11/2001, and I reflect on it today.