I was walking to my early morning Humanities class on the University of Northern Iowa campus when panic began to set in. Student whispers turned to screams, everyone huddled around radios and/or TV’s taking it all in.
Then it hit, the 2nd plane plowed through the tower… minutes later the building collapsed, the building we never thought would fall… There were screams and then the silence. Absolute silence.
Time stood still.
Our world changed and we all began looking at things as before 9/11 and after.
That day became a moment in history where we learned many lessons, all important.
As a mom, I’ve struggled with sharing the story of 9/11 with my littles for fear they won’t understand. However, many wonderful things came out of that horrible day. People talked, people listened, people worked together to save their fellow humans. Groups from all over the country went to Ground Zero, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon to help in the search for complete strangers’ loved ones.
True heroes emerged, running into the chaos, not away from it and those people should be remembered and celebrated. Our children should hear the stories of people stepping up and making a difference. With so much unrest in our world right now, remembering those who stepped up and gave their lives is really important.
Last summer I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It was unbelievable. Standing at the edge of the monument I was moved to tears. After reading the names and walking around the area, I realized even more how important it was to share the significance with my family.
I came home and just started talking, I showed them photos and shared my experience. My son’s mind was blown to learn we didn’t have immediate access to information on the internet (gasp!) and we were reliant on TV and radio to tell us what was happening. It was a great opportunity to teach about humanity and show the good that came out of the bad.
Not sure how to start the conversation with your child? My suggestion is this – be honest while keeping it age appropriate. Tell your story of your experience from that day and how you got through it. It will most likely prompt questions and this is a great way to get a dialog going.
Visit 911memorial.org for some great information on how to talk to kids about terrorism and more. Share stories of the good; people coming together and working towards the same goal. It’s exactly what we all need to hear right now. It’s a fantastic way to remember those who were lost that day and help ensure their legacies are not forgotten.