Monday, September 10, 2012

Through the Eyes of a Child: Growing up in a Post 9/11 World

On September 11, 2001, my second daughter was only four days away from her first birthday.

This coming Saturday she will celebrate her twelfth birthday. This tragic event has shaped reality her entire life.

In honor of the anniversary, I decided to ask her some questions about the event.

Q: What do you know about the 9/11 attacks?

A: I know the south tower was hit first and later the north. The first plane hit the top and the second hit around the middle. The Pentagon was also hit. That plane went through the first three rings of it. When the first tower fell, even though they were hit within minutes of each other, the second tower stayed up twice as long. I know Building 7 fell because of debris from the other buildings.

I know the people who did it are terrorists.

I know a lot of people were hurt in the towers and from debris falling from the towers. They continued to search for people for days afterwards. After three or four days they were looking for remains more than people who had survived.

I know heroes saved dozens of people but died in the process.

Q: How do you think the attacks changed our country?

A: The attacks changed us because now we are a lot more cautious in what we do government-wise. The government doesn’t want something like that to happen again so they are more careful.

We changed because now we know what people can and will do to get revenge and stuff like that. Even though we didn't know anyone in the attacks, we still have a lot of sorrow and pain for those who did. I'm very sensitive for people who have gone through death.

Q: How important are the 9/11 attacks in the world you are growing up in?

A: Well, to a child’s point of view they aren’t very significant. But as I get older and understand more things like that, I realize how much people were hurt from losing their friends and family.

I think we need to teach our children about things like this so they don't repeat these kinds of things in the future. We don't want kids to grow up and be seriously mad at something and choose to deal with it in these kinds of ways.

Q: How should we feel about the terrorists now – eleven years later?

A: It is still a big deal for those who did and didn’t lose people in the attacks. Sometimes I wonder how the people who planned the attack felt on 9/11. Did they feel proud? Or, maybe they regret what happened. Are they embarrassed now because it didn't destroy us? What do you think?

"Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation."
Joel 1:2-3

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