Saturday, September 11, 2010

Teaching September 11th.

Divine was just a baby when the towers fell on September 11th. She was oblivious to the silence while Hubby and I stared at the TV in disbelief. She had no clue that her grandpa worked just a few blocks away for the NYPD. We sat in silence in our living room, while the clocked ticked waiting for the phone to ring letting us know that my FIL was okay.

Since then, my children have known we've been in a war against this thing called 'terrorism' in far away lands. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Iran are only places they've seen in excerpts on the news. They've seen the pictures their grandpa took of Ground Zero and the blown out windows from the surrounding buildings. But they don't really understand it. They didn't grasp that the planes and buildings were filled with people, ordinary citizens just going about their lives.

Divine and Little Man watched the memorial services and the time line on TV. It wasn't to scare them, but to give understanding about what they see on the news. My FIL graciously answered their questions, with his grandpa understanding. He's really good at explaining things to the kids in an objective manner. Little Man was angry they had never taught him this at school, but I explained that it could be very frightening to some kids, like his little sister. T wasn't part of this because she's very sensitive. In a few years maybe she'll be old enough, but not now.

I want my children to understand that freedom isn't free. They saw the brave heroes who gave and risked their lives to save others, and that the actions of a few can't destroy us as a nation. We were very specific about the perpetrators...because ultimately those involved in planning and carrying out attacks are to blame alone. There was a dichotomy in that day, of those seeking to destroy, and those who gave all to save others. People they didn't know and had never met before. We can't control others, but we can make a difference. In life, we serve as either an example or a horrible warning.


Kakunaa said...

Oooh, I have to do that someday!

Kristin said...

It sounds like y'all are doing a great job teaching them about it.