This is where I go out on a limb and ponder a while.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

9/11 (E.'s Take)

For a while I've been considering writing a post about 9/11.  I hesitate to write about it because it's been overdone, it's very controversial, and I'm not an expert on the subject of history.  

But what I'm pondering here is the different perspective that someone like E. has on this historic event.  She was not quite one year old when 9/11 occurred.  She's part of the generation that will have no actual memories of the event.  I remember standing in the middle of my living room on a weekday morning, holding her in my arms while watching The Today Show in horror.  I was feeling thankful that I had her safely at home in my arms, yet at the same time worrying about my other children at school.  Many parents remember having the same concern about the safety of their school-age children at the time:  should we go pick them up from school and bring them home, or are they better off at school?  There was an almost overwhelming fear of  the unknown.  This country had never been attacked in such a way before, and suddenly none of us knew for certain that we were safe.

But E. had no clue, and up until today, has not experienced any real fear or lack of security.  She knows what happened that day over 10 years ago, but when I tell her about it, she shows a lack of detachment.  I can tell the horror of it really doesn't register with her.  And how can it, unless she really sees it?  Perhaps I'll have to rent or buy one of the videos that documents the incident moment-by-moment.  I haven't wanted her to see any of them up until now, because they are pretty raw and difficult to watch, even for an adult.  I guess it's natural to want to keep her world 'all Disney'.  But maybe it's something she should see.  When I was her age my Social Studies teacher made us watch a film about the holocaust.  The visions of those victims still haunt me to this day.  Perhaps that's the way it should be.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".  ~George Santayana


  1. I can remember watching the news when I was little of Viet Nam. My brothers served and it was such a difficult time. And then to live through 9/11. One day, unfortunately, our kids will expierance their own "holocausts" or "911's", I'm afraid. I like protecting them as long as possible...even mine are both technically adults.

  2. Quite the question, Marie.

    Not sure I have a good answer.

    Unless you lived through that day, I'm not sure any amount of exposure after the fact can truly teach a child what it was really like.