Last Decade filled with turmoil, uncertainty

There was a lot of caution going into the 2000s, but that caution turned into panic with the September 11 Attacks. Many controversial decisons followed shaping our decade in history.

Jeremy Allen
Jeremy Allen

It’s been 10 years, and I still remember it. The awkward tension in the room as the crystal ball fell behind the backdrop of fluorescent lights, illuminating the larger-than-life “2000” in Madison Square Garden. I was usually joyful and hopeful at the prospect of a new year and beginning, but that year, I felt apprehensive and unsure about the next decade — pretty strong emotions for a second grader.

Why would anybody have such pessimistic feelings at the turn of the decade, and century? Maybe because the world was plagued with the fear of the Y2K bug. You know, the idea that the computers wouldn’t be able to switch dates, causing a global shutdown of the economy and life as we know it. We started the 2000s in fear and confusion, so where were we to find any optimism?

From then on, American spirit slowly crumbled. The lowest point would come in Sept. 2001, when we suffered the worst tragedy in our country’s history. We went to war in Afghanistan the same year, and it was soon erased from our minds, being overshadowed by a preemptive strike in Iraq in 2003. President George W. Bush promised the American people that we would find weapons of mass destruction. Seven years and hundreds of billions of dollars later, we have found none.

Thus, the decade declined, and it seemed the only thing that increased was the price of gas. We were struck in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, which left New Orleans in shambles, even to this day, and highlighted the government’s poor ability to solve its own domestic issues.

When the economy tanked in 2008, it finally was a wake-up call for America. It shook us to our core. For the first time, our parents realized that financial security is relative. Our uncontrolled spending finally caught up to us. Together, we took a step back and realized that we could have done better.

When I look back on the decade for a high point, only one date comes to my mind: Dec. 31, 2009. It was when I finally realized that it was over; it was time to start again.

I hope that in 10 years, when I look back on this new decade, I have nothing but a sense of pride for my country and the world.

What we have is a clean slate, a blank canvas. While we can’t tell how it will end, we hope that it will lead us to new opportunities and broadened horizons…

A decade, born amid fear and shrouded under its shadow, has adjourned. We’ve now begun a decade born out of optimism; yearning for tranquility. I can only hope, as we progress, we keep the past in the back of our minds as a reminder so that we may emerge from even the worst times. May we learn from our past.