remembering and reminding

I’m not great with this anniversary. I get sad and teary and avoid it the entire day until finally at some point in the evening I sit down in front of the tv, flick it on and find myself confronted with such programs as “102 minutes that changed America”, “Inside 9/11”, and “Hotel Ground Zero”.

I think I will just turn the tv off, it will only make me cry and I can’t bear it. Yet, I never can. It feels sacrilegious to turn it off, insulting and wrong. I force myself to watch, even if I have to keep turning it off and back on throughout the evening. I make myself watch. Because…otherwise I’ll forget.

Tonight my big kids watched “102 minutes…” with me. We watched until the second tower was hit and then we turned it off. My 13 year old son was shaken. He could not understand, could not begin to process how people could throw themselves out of a building so high up. I wondered if it had been wise to have them watch it. Ultimately I decided it was necessary. They were both alive when it happened, but thankfully to young to remember watching it unfold on the morning news with me.

But, they know about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and they don’t understand them. They think perhaps the people who live in those countries are bad people.

I felt this was the only way for them to understand. Especially as Americans. It broke my heart, and we silently watched as tears rolled down our cheeks.

We talked afterwards, and I hope they felt more knowledgable and I hope they understood the reasons for the war better.

Above all, I hope they never have to witness anything like that again in their lives. I hope they will live the kind of lives that will help to ensure that.

On this day, my thoughts are with the survivors, the families of the deceased, and those who have been and are still affected every day by the events of that terrible, terrible day.


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