Tuesday, September 13, 2016

9/11 - Helping my kids understand

I'd venture to say all of us know exactly where we were and what we were doing when the attacks on 9/11 happened.  
I remember that it was a beautiful sunny day and business as usual at work.  Then my phone rang and Getzy told me to go watch the news.  I'm not much of a news watcher because I feel like so much of it is negative and manipulated. Getzy and I have an agreement that he will let me know when something important is happening.  

At the time I was working for a media company in Dunwoody, Georgia.  I went into my boss's office to watch the coverage just after the first plane hit the World Trade Center.  Originally we thought it was just a terrible accident . . . then the second plane hit.   I think it was then we began to realize that life as we know it would never be the same.

I was pregnant with my oldest son, Ryan.  Oddly enough, I remember I was wearing a black maternity maxi dress with tiny red roses all over it.  I still have the dress . . . I couldn't part with it when I let go of my maternity clothes because it had such significance to me.  And I remember thinking what kind of world am I bringing a child into . . . thoughts I hadn't really had before then.

I suppose until you live through something, it doesn't have as much meaning to you.  It wasn't until I visited Pearl Harbor and toured the Dachau concentration camp in Germany that I truly felt like I could understand the magnitude of those events.   
A motley crew for sure . . . we fed the high schoolers right after
cross country practice and told them to get in the car . . .
you never know what the day holds in our house!
To help our children understand, my friend Michelle and I took them to a nearby battlefield where every five years they display 2,977 American flags to represent the lives of each person lost in the 9/11 tragedy.  Until we can make it to the actual sight in New York, this local memorial helps our kids get a sense of the significance of what happened that day. 

To say the flag display was moving is an understatement.  From the minute I saw them, the tears flowed.  To see the volume of flags and to know what each represents was overwhelming. I think the visual made it much more real to all of us.  

It's hard to believe that it's been 15 years.  A lot has changed since 9/11, but I'm choosing to look on the bright side.  So much good in humanity came from the tragedy . . . so much patriotism. America is the land of the free . . . and the home of the brave.  That was never more true than after 9/11.  


  1. I was a freshmen in college on 9/11 and the first attack happened right as my English class was ending. When I was walking in to my dorm room my roommate had the news on and the second plane was crashing. Crazy to think back about that time. That is a very great way to have a local memorial. I can't even imagine what that many flags in one place looks like. I have had several thoughts of what kind of world am I bringing a child in to, but I am sure our parents and their parents felt the same way.

  2. i was at work when the planes hit; it was a shock to everyone because it was the most awful thing that can only happen in a movie (some people even asked "what movie are you watching?". It's so important that we never forget what happened, all those lives lost.....so tragic and heart breaking.

  3. I feel some of the same emotions every anniversary that i felt that day, but mostly I feel the sadness for the families that lost their loved ones. It just dawned on me yesterday that I didn't say one single word to the big boys Sunday about the significance of that day and I feel like I failed them in some way. Next year I know to do better, do more, say something. Those flags are beautiful, btw.

  4. Thank you for sharing your memories of where you were. I was at work and a woman came in yelling, "It's WW3!" I thought she was being her usual dramatic self. Still can't believe it happened and that was 15 years ago.

  5. I was at my parents house in MI. I had flown up for my birthday. Olivia was just a baby and sitting in her high chair painting water colors on index cards. I remember I was watching Good Morning America and pretty much sat in horror as the whole thing unfolded. So vivid...

    Where is that memorial? I would like to see it next year!