Cassidy Brown remembers a lot of people crying. Her brother, Logan, recalls leaving school early. But the twins, who had just turned 4 at the time, don’t recall much else about Sept. 11, 2001.
Yet somehow the looks on their faces on the cover of the Sept. 20 News-Review — taken at the town’s candlelight vigil — seem to say it all.
Here was a town and a country in mourning.
“I think about my face in that picture, because it’s really bad,” Cassidy said Friday when asked to reflect on the photograph, which has hung in the family’s living room ever since. “I must have got the emotions of everybody else around me.”
“I was probably tired,” Logan said, venturing to guess why he looked so sad in the photo, which was taken just three days after Sept. 11.
Neither of them remember being at the vigil, which was held outside Town Hall.
The two spoke to the newspaper at their Riverhead home off Mill Road about an hour after attending freshman orientation at Riverhead High School. That means they’ve lived their entire lives that they can remember in what the rest of us would consider this still new — and still somewhat unfamiliar — post 9/11 world.
“Their world will never be like my world was,” said their mother, Maureen. For instance, theirs is more patriotic, she said, explaining that her daughter, an American Legion Junior Auxiliary member, is looking forward to joining the NJROTC at the high school. She also dreams of one day serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, like her Marine grandfather.
“The military seems to be a big part of people’s lives,” Ms. Brown said, noting that tomorrow’s adults have spent their childhoods seeing images of soldiers everywhere, not only on TV and in newspapers, but online.
And they might also feel less invincible than some prior generations. Logan said he sometimes wonders if the country will be attacked again.
“Now that Osama bin Laden was killed, they might try to [retaliate],” he said.
Although the Iraq and Afghanistan wars continue, to the kids, Sept. 11, 2001, is history. And, not surprisingly, the twins don’t think about it all too much, even when they glance at the photo that’s come to blend into the everyday landscape of their lives.
The kids just don’t talk about [Sept. 11], Cassidy said, “because it was awhile ago.”