Your Stories

Millennials and 9/11: Loss of Faith in Institutions and Government

STORY BY: Wren Brian
YEAR: 2001
LOCATION: Whitehorse, Yukon

Brian shared this story with us: "I think the thing older generations miss when talking about Millennials is what effect growing up without faith in institutions and government had on us. For me this started with 9/11 because of what happened in Whitehorse, which definitely left some of us with a real sense that when it came down to it, the Canadian government would rather cave to the desires of the US than protect Canadian lives. While this caused 9/11 to have a larger impact on me than other Canadian kids, I still think 9/11 shook up everyone's sense of security, but also faith in the governments' abilities to respond effectively. Then the Iraq War happened. On top of this the reports on the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was happening, plus Canada just starting to talk about the genocide that happened here. Having all this happen during our formative years has definitely influenced our outlook on life and mental health as we've struggled to reconcile the overly positive narratives we were fed (ex: "one person can change the world" & "a BA + a job + a family = happiness") with the harsh realities that our systems are toxic and broken. In true Millennial fashion, I think it's good we are breaking down these false ideals, but I do think the mental strain of realizing this from a fairly young age has contributed to some of the more negative qualities older generations like to point out." Thank you for sharing your insights, which will certainly be useful for BOOM YZ, the third part of the BOOM trilogy!

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