Where were you when the world stopped turning?

It’s inconceivable that it was 20 years ago today. Time just seems to fly by. I remember the day, I remember the morning as I drove to work. I remember that weird sense of quiet and dread as there was nothing to do but go home and watch the news. And I remember the next morning, when we all woke up with a strange sense of purpose.

It was not a time to be filled with hate, but sadness. We didn’t argue with each other. We were just glad we had each other, although none of us knew what would come next.

The world as it was

It’s hard to remember that this was a world without smartphones. It was a world, for the most part, without any sort of high-speed internet at all. It was a world where we got news in real time from television stations, and then got perspective the next morning from newspapers.

It was a world where Google was a virtual unknown. It was a world where video chat was impossible, where social networks didn’t exist, and where learning about something generally meant a trip to somewhere with reference materials.

It was, and most people don’t even think of this, a world where it cost extra money to talk to someone outside your local area. Someone traveling back to 2001 would probably feel very disconnected.

The world as it became

I’m sure that each and every one of you has your own opinion about the world that followed that day twenty years ago. Some may feel it’s better. Some may feel it’s worse. Honestly this isn’t that sort of blog and I respect people with strong opinions of all types. It does make me think how much of the last 20 years were informed by that one morning, though.

That’s about all I wanted to write about this. I know it usually takes about 5 minutes to read an article. I’d like to suggest you take some of that time and just stay silent, thinking about the folks who passed on that day, the folks who were heroes, and the sacrifices they made.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.