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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 07: A person watches the Tribute In Light shine into the sky from Lower Manhattan during a test on September 07, 2021 in New York City. Honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001 attack that killed almost 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Tribute in Light is a commemorative public art installation that was first presented six months after 9/11 and then every year since on the anniversary.

I vividly remember September 11, 2001.  I was a sophomore in high school waiting for the bell to ring after gym class, when our Coach said someone had “bombed” the World Trade Center.  The bell then rang and by the time I got to my next class, “something” had happened to the second tower.  My Geometry teacher had it on the classroom which is when we all found out what had actually happened.  She tried teaching that morning but the distraction was obvious from students being called out for early dismissal because of family they had in New York or just as a precaution because nobody knew what the heck was going on.

Last year reminds me of those similar feelings from 20 years ago, only I’m a grown adult.  That feeling of being lost and uncertain about what’s next and when will things get better.  Mine and my wife’s escape during the Pandemic was anything we could stream after we were done working from home.  Primarily it was The Office and Gilmore Girls that we’d watch for hours every day just to laugh and feel some sort of normalcy.  We were constantly anxious.  While we didn’t have streaming platforms 20 years ago, broadcast companies like NBC were airing shows like Friends, E.R. and Will and Grace.  These shows had easily relatable characters that audiences would invest in.  20 years ago they knew how anxious their audience was.  And 20 years ago, broadcast companies like NBC had to invite their audience back to just sit still, and watch.