Friday, September 11, 2009


Last night, Bubba innocently asked me,
"Mom, what is the big deal about 9/11 anyway?"

How do you answer that? He was an infant at the time and has grown up in the post 9/11 world. So as I tried to explain it to him...I remembered once again:

waking up that morning thinking it was a regular day

seeing the second plane hit as we watched the TV and realizing this was not an accident

the jaw-dropping shock that we were "under attack"

the feeling of confusion as events unfurled

yelling OHNO! as my car radio announced the first tower fell as we drove to school

dropping off my daughter at kindergarten and wondering if I was nuts to leave her somewhere other than home that day.

meeting a mom in the kindergarten line who hadn't heard what was happening and telling her

meeting another mom who was trying to keep it together in front of her kids because her husband was at the pentagon and she hadn't heard from him yet

seeing people at school in tears

the overwhelming feeling of vulnerability

the need to call everyone I loved

the amazing footage and images

being glued to the TV for days and days

the connection I felt to my New York heritage

the heartbreak of seeing all the flyers posted of people looking for loved ones

my daughter asking that afternoon if we could please watch something else...

the patriotism I saw demonstrated all around me

the patriotism I felt (maybe for the first time)

the flags...everywhere

being moved by the inspiring story of those who crashed their own plane in PA to save others

feeling so angry that there were those who thought of this plan and were able to carry it out

the lingering feeling that we are not as safe in America as we thought we were...

feeling SO grateful for the service of firefighters, police officers, good samaritans and our military

wishing I could do more...

I am remembering all of that and then some today. I try to explain it to my kids. They can understand the facts--but the feelings of it all are hard to pass on. I'm realizing now why former generations can be frustrated why we don't "understand" the Great Depression, the country-wide war effort during WWII, the emotions of the Vietnam War crisis...we get the facts, but it's hard to feel it. We are the on the other side of it all.

My kids live on the other side of 9/11.

(linking up with Company Girl Coffee today...hi girls! If you would like to read a more light hearted post from my week, click here. I'm off to clean out a closet, prepare for Sunday School to kick off this weekend...and have a diet coke in a mug in your honor )


Jamie said...

Hey, Dawn--
Pretty much all I can say is Wow...Love the perspective you gave in your last paragraph. Well said. (Found you via the Company Girl and though I love my coffee, right now I'd join you in the Diet Coke!)

Dawn said...

Hi Dawn!
You summed it up so well - all those feelings and thoughts that rushed over so many of us. And when I hear how other people experienced those days I am amazed at how similar my experience was even though I was in a completely different part of the country.

My boys are too small to know that this day holds any significance, but some day I hope to have the words to explain the way things really were that awful, awful day.


Debbie said...

GOOD POST! Thanks for sharing this. I've not had to share with my girls yet (ages 4 & 2) but will have many things to tell them. My brother was in the Navy and my uncle worked at the Pentagon. It was a very scary day, and for 9 months afterwards I was pretty well glued to the TV about Afghanistan where my brother was sent...

It's good for us to remember.

secondofwett said...

Even though I'm a Canadian, most of us were also very shaken and overwhelmed by what happened 8 yrs husband was on a business trip in Cleveland at the time and cell phones were jammed and I was afraid they wouldn't let him back over the border to come home...scary times...I realize not as bad as those who actually lost loved ones ...but still scary.

L Harris said...

I got goosebumps reading your post. I'm Canadian too, but we remember the day well.

LydiaCate said...

Remembering is so hard and yet so necessary. Great, thought provoking post, thanks!

Dawn said...

all of those memories... i don't think we will ever let a 9/11 pass without them coming straight to our minds... through our hearts. though my kids were little (5 & 8) they will always remember this... because it was the reason their daddy went off to protect us. and he was gone off and on for 4 years afterwards. i cannot really imagine having to explain it all...

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