GLENN: Sixteen years ago today, the world changed forever. What's amazing to me is there's such a huge part of the population that will never know America the way I did, the way perhaps you did.
High school graduates in 2001 saw the world through a much different lens than the kids that will be graduating today. In 2001, a -- a gallon of gas cost $1.46. Which, at the time, was completely outrageous.
For the most part, the world was peaceful. United States wasn't at war. The Gulf War was a decade in the rearview mirror. And America felt invincible.
Islamic terrorism wasn't something we had to worry about, something our kids had to worry about. It was maybe something that grownups read about in the newspaper. But it was the third story on the 10 o'clock news. Nobody had ever heard of Osama bin Laden.
Then 9/11 happened. The high school graduates today have never known an America not at war. Peacetime is a distant era that they've read about in their history books. And yet, wartime seems normal.
Is war a high price to pay? Terror attacks are no longer the third story on the 10 o'clock news. Their weekly, sometimes daily discussions.
For those who are graduating this year, terrorism is something that they've had to consider almost with everything that they do: attending a Fourth of July fireworks display, going to a concert, planning a trip to Europe, going on the airplane.
What does it feel like to go to a New Year's Eve celebration and not have to think in the back of your mind, "What do we do if there's a terror attack?"
It's almost -- it's been so long now, that I've forgotten what that is like. What did it feel like to graduate high school, to see the world as completely accessible? Where you could plan a trip to Egypt and see the pyramids. Go to France. Go to Spain. Not worry.
Would any parent today be comfortable sending our kids to any of those places? Just go have a good time. Call us when you get there.
This is the world that is normal today, the world in perpetual war and threat of terror attacks. It doesn't mean anything. It's just the way it is.
We are still discovering how much of our country and how much of the world changed on September 11th, 2001.
One thing is for sure, the United States is not the same as it was on September 10th, 2001.
But what we become, that's up to us. And I don't even mean our government and our politicians or anybody else. It's up to us.
Our story is yet to be written. Our future is a blank page, and we are the only author.