Sunday, September 11, 2011


9/11 has been on my mind for a while. There have been increasing reminders of the approaching day all over, from newspaper to the local church where members placed a single, tiny flag for each of the fallen victims.

When I woke up this morning, the awareness was there again and I took a minute to remember those who lost their lives. The victims who died at the hands of hate. Those who died trying to save other people. Those who died afterwards from health problems arising from the destruction. Those who have died since then, trying to secure our freedom and prevent attacks like this from happening again. I remember where I was, and how awful it was to watch the events unfold on TV; the sadness, outrage, and the helplessness. At the time I was married to a military member, and wondered how this would impact our family. And when I was done remembering, I got up and went on about my day. And made the mistake of comfort. In my little world, with no other ties to what happened than empathy and fear, I didn't even take the time to talk to my children about this day. Then something happened that set it off for me...

I was listening to the names of those who died being read at the memorial, and my son was playing a video game on the computer. All of the sudden he yells out about killing something on his game, and when I admonish him for it, he says to me "What? I'm only making an announcement like those people on TV." And that brought tears to my eyes. I had failed. Somehow this child was unaware of the importance of what was going on. It could be just that he wasn't paying attention, or it could be that I have insulated him too much, or it could be that I have not fulfilled my duty to him or all those who lost their lives to impress upon him the tragedy of the day and why that ceremony was so serious.

So the video game was turned off. This is the child who was already a secret in my womb when the towers fell. My surprise pregnancy after 9/11, but not because of it. I sat down with him, and with tears in my eyes tried to convey the depth of horror and loss that not only I felt, but the rest of the nation. He watched the attack with me online, and I saw the instant understanding fell through him. His heart has changed. It's not the same as if he had been there, or even here watching on TV as it happened. But it's more than he started the day with.

We have all said "I will never forget" but in my comfort, I made the mistake of not carrying on their memories. From now on, I will say "I will always help others remember."

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