Has it really been 8 years?
It’s hard to believe that the 9/11 attacks happened 8 years ago today. So much has happened in the meantime, but for most of us, they seem like they happened yesterday.
Children have been born and gone off to school; friends have gotten married or divorced; parents have moved on or moved in; jobs have been won and lost. Life has gone on. But the tricks of memory cause us all to remember that day in special ways.
For me, it was the collapse of the North Tower that really shook me, when I realized that some of my personal friends were at risk. For others, it was seeing the tape of the plane crashing into the South Tower again and again and again that was so traumatic. Most of us were glued to our TVs, radios, or internet connections the whole day, desperate for information.
What makes a traumatic event tricky is that each person’s memory can be somewhat distorted by his or her previous understanding and experience. So while the experience is real, it is also intensely personal. Perhaps that’s why experience, while a great teacher, is an inconsistent one. It’s also why memorials and anniversaries are important part of remembering and learning from the past.
And what do we learn? That our markets and our society are more resilient than we ever thought. That a two popped bubbles and a banking crisis can slow growth but not stop it. And that all knowledge, while real, is intensely personal.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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