9/11 happened technically in my childhood - at the beginning of eighth grade. But it was so massive and unbelievable and half a country away that I'm not sure it ever really sank in. Plus, I was rather sick that day and didn't really understand anything that was happening until evening-time. My main memories of 9/11 and the days after are watching nothing but cartoons because those were the only channels not showing the footage repeatedly. Hell, I think it was a few weeks before I found out about the Pentagon and the plane in Pennsylvania. 9/11 was a tragedy, but it wasn't my tragedy.
By contrast... I remember the afternoon of that day ten years ago, coming out of the school still shell-shocked - our teacher hadn't been able to get us back to our work the rest of the day, especially since Amber's dad was a cop over there and she was terrified he'd be shot. And I came out of school, and over at the edge of the school near where I used to meet my old friend Cash while he waited for his mom, was Gabe, the kid who used to live across the street. He was pretending to shoot a friend with a stick. I ran over, grabbed the stick from him, and demanded shrilly, "Haven't you heard about Columbine?" And my sheer horror and disgust when Gabe shrugged and said, "Yeah, so?"
I don't think I ever hung out with Gabe again after that.
Remembering Columbine also brought up another, more recent memory, from Humanex. There'd been another school shooting (albeit with far less casualties), and Dave had us talk about in Girl's Group. He had a print-out of warning signs for school shooters, and asked us to raise our hands (if we wanted to) if the sign applied to us.
And nearly all of us raised our hands for nearly all of them. And yet I always felt safer at Humanex than at any other school - probably because as batshit you'd have to be to shoot up your school, you'd have to be triple that to try and go after Humanex. Plus, to be honest, that's a level of premeditation probably only Julia and I would consider, and we'd be far more likely to choose a murder method that would leave us uncaught.
The main thing that stands out from the aftermath of Columbine is that even at that age, when I was fairly well ostracized and occasionally beat up, I never even thought about sympathizing with Klebold and Harris. Not once. One of the few times in my life I've been that clear-cut on anything, even horrific crimes.