While walking my son home from school on Friday I asked him if they mentioned why in school that the flag was at half mast. He stopped, looked back at the flag and said, “Hey you are right. Why is it like that mom?” I asked if they mentioned anything at all about September 11th. Jay then went on to tell me that the teachers said nothing but that one of his friends was talking about how his uncle was supposed to be in the World Trade Center that day but he had missed his train into work. “He would have died mom. A plane crashed into the building! How freaky is that?” I asked if he knew why that plane crashed into it and he had no idea.
I realized I needed to tell my boy in some way the truth. So I started looking online and finally I came across a Nick News video: What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001 that together we watched. The video is very good and I highly recommend it for ages 10-12. Jay sat through the whole video. he showed concern and empathy and even talked about how the passengers on United Flight 93 were true heroes. “They died mom but they saved so many people. Just think how many more people could have died if they had not taken over the terrorist and turned that plane around.” Gracie came into the room half way through and of course she started freaking out. “I don’t want a terrorist attacking me mommy!” We talked about how there are a handful of really bad people in the world and the rest are really good. We talked about how things have changed since then and how much more safe it is. We talked about how if we live in fear every day, well then those bad people won.They accomplished exactly what they wanted. Then daddy came in and made funny faces and everything was alright in the world again.
I am not sure how I handled it was the right way. I guess I could have done things differently. But I did it, which I think is important. So many people died that day. We owe it to them to teach our children the lessons learned that day. The movie ends talking about yes, bad things happened that day, but so many good things came out of it to. People came together, they worked together, they cared about one another.
It is sad that as a nation we are like an ornery child who will not listen that the stove is hot. They must touch first and learn the lesson themselves. I think we learned our lesson that day. I pray we did!