Committed to Never Forget September 11
There are bits and pieces of September 11th that I remember.
I had just dropped off Bug for school. He was in Kindergarten and loving school. I was still suffering through postpartum depression so just getting out of the house with a toddler and an eight month old was enough to make me want to run back to bed. But on that day, I had gone to a friend’s house to use her computer and get on the internet.
But I couldn’t log on. No matter what I did, the signal (stupid dial-up) would not put me through. I thought perhaps something was wrong with the phone so I went upstairs to her sister’s apartment.
That’s when I saw it. On the television were the Twin Towers. One billowing in smoke, the other had not been hit yet, news anchors quickly trying to make heads or tails out of what was happening and us, three of us and my two very young, very innocent babies, sitting and staring at what would change the way we live and see the world around us forever. I remember holding my two babies close and thinking,
“I have to go home.”
“I need to call the school and make sure Bug is okay”
“Who would do this to us?”
“Is my backyard next?”
I was talking to Bug earlier this week about September 11 and put the date in perspective for him. “You were too young to remember. You had only been in Kindergarten for a few weeks. You loved school. You didn’t know that hatred like this existed. You, your brothers, your sister, you won’t know another world like the one I knew and grew up in pre-9/11.”
And it’s true. He won’t. None of them will have any inkling of a world before September 11, 2001. I desperately wish that they could but it’s not possible. I explained that I complain about the security measures and insanity that has leaked into our lives. How we are more cautious. We are more skeptical, we aren’t as trusting but how it's also all very necessary.
As we talked we were listening to a local radio show where the DJ said he didn’t want to play voicemails of the victims of September 11 that had been released for promotion of the many programs reflecting on that day. The DJ said the voicemails rubbed him the wrong way and he didn’t like them. I explained to Bug that at one point, the images and video of the towers and the Pentagon weren’t shown anymore on the news and in media. Somewhere people deemed them too graphic or too disturbing and I felt that this was likely how the DJ was reacting to the voicemails to loved ones as well. After listening to me recall what that day was like, Bug agreed with me that we need to hear video and see the images.
We need to hear people’s stories so we can remember; The wound left behind doesn’t close up and become just a scar for us to rub over with vague recollection. I for one don’t want the stories, the memories and the images watered down. We need to keep those fresh in our minds so we don’t become numb and forget what was taken away from us and how hard we’ve fought to come back from this devastating event in our history.
At this point, Bug is the only one of the kids who have asked any questions about September 11 and I’m okay with that. While I’m not starting any conversations with Bebe and Shorty, I won’t deter any either. I feel like the best thing I can do is be a support for when they do have questions and replay the day for them through my own eyes and memories.
How are you talking to your kids about the ten year anniversary of September 11?
For more on September 11 including discussion starters and information about the 9/11 Memorial, check out History.com/classroom