Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11

Five years ago today, the world as we knew it changed forever, in a blink of an eye. Everything that we had held true about our country was all of a sudden cast in a shadow of doubt and uncertainty. The news was constant, even if there was nothing to report, the coverage was non stop. Too horrible to watch, and yet, unable to turn it off, we sat transfixed to our televisions, radios, whatever.

At the time my children were 8, 4 and 2 and I remember the day the towers fell, rushing to get the kids from day care, and rushing home to turn on the television. I had listened to the news all day, but I needed to see it, experience it. And I sat there with my babies, and made them watch it too. As horrible as it was, and even though they were too young to understand, (weren’t we all, really?) I made them watch. I wanted them to know, and to remember, to always remember.

How do you explain ‘war’ and terrorism to children when you yourself don’t understand? How do you explain ‘thousands of people, including children dead’ when the kids barely comprehend what death is? And how do you answer “Why?” when your own mind and heart scream the same question?

My children now know war, even though the ugliness of it has not touched their lives directly. They know that Uncle S has been ‘over there fighting in a war’ but they don’t understand exactly what that means. Uncle S can’t tell them or explain it to them because he has seen things no human should ever have to see. Now, 5 years later, ‘The War in Iraq’ is a part of every nightly news cast, and has become common place for us. How do you get to the point where ‘war’ is common place?

I want my children to know, and understand and remember the horror, the fear, the unbelief, of that day so that they will never forget, and will make sure their children never forget. Today we remember 5 years ago, and the people who died that day. Our world has changed. We’ve learned to adapt to the changes. The towers are gone, the destruction and the debris and rubble are gone too. The memories are not. And I pray that they never will be.

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