Wendy at Girl on the Right has an excellent post comparing today's definition of "crisis", "quagmire", "disaster", etc with the definition of a couple generations ago.
Both 9/11 and Katrina were mere blinks of the eye of time. The terrorist attacks lasted an hour or two (though the fires burned for 90 days). The hurricane and flooding lasted a day or so. Neither of them could be compared to the lasting hardships of the Depression or even the sacrifices of WWII.
Go on over and read the entire post at GOTR.