I will never forget where I was and what I was doing 17 years ago today. I will never forget the emotion, the horror, and the overwhelming sense of helplessness I felt as I watched the events of that day unfold.
I will never forget, and I don’t want to because to do so would dishonor all those who died, and all those gave their lives in an attempt to save others.
When my children were in elementary school in our old school district, September 11th was treated as just another day. They never discussed what unfolded on this day, or why this day was historically significant, or how it permanently changed the lives of thousands of people forever. Never was it touched on that because of September 11th people had to acknowledge that terror had infiltrated our homes, threatened our well-being, and evoked a fear in people that could never have been imagined prior. Never was the bravery and selflessness of so many mentioned, nor the stories of hope and unity that forged a new path for us as a country.
This bothered me on so many levels, but mainly because my children deserved to know about something so powerful, so moving, and so tragic that it reshaped my future which became the present they know today. A present which for them requires extra security, double checks, and terror watches. They deserved to know about the heroism, the bravery, the sacrifice, and the selflessness that so many exhibited. They deserved to know how this one monumental tragedy reshaped an entire world – but they didn’t….at least not like they should.
Every year I talk to my children about the significance of today. I tell them enough for them to know what happened and I answer any questions they have. A few years ago my husband and I even took them to the memorial – but they didn’t quite grasp the significance of what it all meant. Last year we moved to a new town and they started a new school. I was pleasantly surprised when they came home last year talking about the events of today. This year I was moved even more when yet again they came home speaking about today’s importance. My middle child was in particular filled with so many questions from by all that he learned in school today. He asked me where I was, what I was doing, if I knew anyone who died, and if we could go back to the memorial. He even had a homework assignment to complete regarding the events of today.
I don’t want my children fearing today, but I want them to know why today is so important. I want them to know, to honor, and to never forget….