Oh I get it. Finally.
For me 9/11 wasn't really anything because I was already an adult, for various ugly reasons.
For America, it was the alarm going off after decades of partying. Childhood for everyone ended abruptly. "Haha! The real world still exists! History is not over!"
I think America really believed they had already achieved the Second Coming. The 60s had solved everything. Nothing else would ever happen. (Or: they had thrown a collective toddler tantrum and it had worked out okay.) Everyone could be irresponsible because Daddy-cum-Mommy would take care of everything. Video games, TV, sports, and movies could be and were the whole world. Maybe a few novels if you were really posh. Weirdos could be into Japanese TV instead. Do your chores, eat your vegetables (nightly news) and then you're free to play. If you're poor, you can buy lotto. A little richer, take a trip to the casino. If pops is really loaded, you play the stock market. Never have to worry about things getting too real, though.
After 9/11, slowly, blearily, Americans realized America isn't a country anymore. Not only are their bankers all banksters, this isn't illegal. Not only isn't it illegal, Daddy-trans-Mommy bails them out when the scam goes bad. The war on drugs gave Americans a valuable opportunity to [stick it to the man] by smoking a little dope. The war on terror was about bullying some desert hobos for having been bullied before, which raised questions about the war on drugs. Also, WTF is Mommy doing on the playground? Is she punching the other kids?
Lately they have realized America doesn't have elections and doesn't have a president. Oof. What a gut punch. They were asleep at the time!
Momento mori is one thing. Imagine this waking you up: "You're going to die one day." Now imagine this: "There are trustworthy individuals, but you always trust the scam artist and he narcissist." Don't think he's making it to work this time around. Not gonna be able to afford gacha this week. Might lose his Twitch subscriber streak if he's not careful.
"Are...are we the baddies?" Well, you're children. You're not to blame for what your parents get up to. Unfortunately, you're growing up. (At last. Maybe.) You will be responsible soon, whether you're ready or not.
Childhood is fake. Children genuinely can't handle the truth, because they haven't seen any of it. Visiting a new culture is overwhelming; now imagine you had never seen a culture before. Oh and you had never seen a visit before, let alone the device you used to get there.
We don't tell children the truth so we can ease them into it. Give them enough to be getting on with.
Childhood is also a little bit gay, and/because nobody is having sex.
For literal juveniles, this is healthy. Or, at least, necessary.