What to Tell My Kids About 9/11

There are plenty of things my kids will not have the chance to experience, such as…

~ Cars with manual windows
~ Going to a music store to browse through CD’s (I could almost say the same thing about books except for the fact there is still a Half Price Books in our city)
~ Life without the internet or smart phones and apps 
~ A time when the numbers 9 and 11 didn’t have any historical significance

Twelve years ago today however, 9/11 became etched in our minds and hearts permanently. I remember the quiet Tuesday morning that became horribly crazy when the radio alarm turned on to reports of airplanes and tall buildings. A friend of hubby’s called a few minutes later and told us to turn on the TV. We stood in silence and disbelief at the things we were seeing. Huge clouds of smoke, people covered head to toe in dust, the World Trade Towers gone, the Pentagon in pieces, a plane down in Pennsylvania.

I went to work that day as normal, but nothing about September 11, 2001 was anything close to normal. A coworker pulled a small TV into the office and our whole department watched the news broadcasts; we didn’t have the heart to do any work. Our faces reflected our shock, sadness and fear as we listened to pieces of the story come together. The brief moments when I tried to get work done were interrupted by glances at news sites for updates. When CNN began putting up the names of the victims, I couldn’t stop reading their stories. These men, women and even young children, who were just going about their business suddenly had their lives cut short. 

So many lives lost for no good reason.

There will come a day when my kids will wonder about the significance of 9/11, why flags are lowered on this day, why this day is in the history books. What will I tell them? 

I’ll tell them how some very misguided and heartless people made some horrific decisions.

But I’ll also tell them how so many brave and amazing men and women made sacrificial choices to help someone else. That the worst circumstances brought out the best parts of people that day.

Image courtesy of dan/freedigitalphotos.net

Just as Mister Rogers once said…

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”

I’ll tell my kids to continue to keep the helping spirit alive today.

This is Black Eyed Peas’s song, “Where Is The Love?“, a reminder of all the reasons why it’s more important than ever to love our neighbors as ourselves.

What do you remember about 9/11? How did that day change your life?

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