Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years

Last night during dinner, Kailey turned to me and asked, "Dad? After dinner can we go on the computer so you can show us what happened when the planes hit the buildings?" We've had many mini-discussions about 9/11 in the past week since both of the girls' classes at school have been covering it in light of today's anniversary.

I was flooded with conflicting emotions at Kailey's request. As a father, my immediate instinct was to protect my children. I hope they never experience a day like 9/11 in their lifetime: the fear, the grief, the utter sense of loss and helplessness, the anger...it all comes rushing back even six years later. Not enough time has passed. But it's also important for them to know what happened, even when they are probably still too young to comprehend it all.

I decided to focus on some of the positives from that day. We talked about how people came together to help one another; the heroism of the passengers from Flight 93 as well as that of the NYPD and NYFD. As we talked, my heart swelled with pride at the efforts of these people, everyday people who rose to the occasion and made a horrible, horrible day just a little bit brighter. If there's anything I really want the girls to "get" about 9/11, this is it.

After dinner, as the girls took their baths, I watched some of the YouTube entries on 9/11. "You're going to get yourself all depressed again," Diane warned. She was right and I knew it. But this was my way of remembering and paying homage to those whose lives have been eternally altered as a result of those senseless attacks, however sick, twisted, and masochistic it might seem. I do a pretty good job of sheltering myself from the pain 364 days a year. One day of letting it in isn't going to kill me.

I didn't let the girls watch any video last night. Too many of the clips had pictures or video of people falling to their deaths, and I didn't want to open that can of worms right before bedtime. Perhaps I'll let them watch something this afternoon if I can find a clip that focuses more on the indomitable human spirit than the death and destruction of that day. It's the former that makes this nation of ours great and is what will ultimately heal those wounds.

No comments: