Sunday, September 11, 2011
This is about what I remember from 9-11. I was a sophomore in high school, sitting in my school's computer room, waiting for class to start. A guy from my class came in and told us a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I thought he was joking - I don't think I was the only one. Our teacher turned on the tv...and that's what I remember about most of the rest of the day. In almost every class (except English) we stood or sat in horror as our nation was attacked. Friends of ours had an uncle who worked in the Pentagon, but that was as personal as it was that day (he was fine down in the bunker of the Pentagon).
But in the days that followed, learning the names and seeing the pictures of the fallen...then it became personal. Not because I KNEW any of them but because we are one nation, under God. One world created by the same God. He created them same as He created me. Human beings were just killed in the most indecent manner (if there is one) without a judge, without a trial, without a thought of them being guilty.
In the next months, we saw images of the WTC disaster area, the Pennsylvania plane crash, the Pentagon with the flag draped over its side. And our nation came together. Flags flew, patriots came out of the woodwork.
Are we still that unified nation 10 years later? I think not, unfortunately. We all wanted Osama hunted down after 9-11; we all supported our President and the war. Now we have people who protest soldier's funerals, a president whose only care seems to be making outlandish promises to this country he never intends to keep, and more soldiers dead than I think anyone knows. And we don't know because the media doesn't show it anymore. We don't hear death tolls to make us really think about the war and why it all started. We don't see pictures of the WTC site anymore.
I was just thinking about whether my children would REALLY understand this disaster, this terrorist strike and what it meant to our country. I don't know how I'll explain it but I want them to understand. I want them to remember the fallen, the innocent lost, the country attacked. I want them to know that 9-11 is not just some day that we have to be quiet for a few seconds to show respect to some people we're not sure of how they passed away. I want them to learn about the firefighters, police officers, civilians, the people who just went to work that day, the terrorists (we have to know about them or else it all makes no sense), the children and spouses and parents and siblings whose lives are missing a face at birthday parties and gatherings because they were lost on that day.
How will you teach your children about 9-11?