Today is September 11.
Yesterday my niece called me to help her on a school project. She needed to interview people who were alive during the September 11, 2001 attacks to glean their insights and stories. I was flabbergasted that an event that remains so vivid in my memories has become the topic for a school history project. How has so much time passed since that horrible day?
Like everybody else my age and older, I will never forget the events of September 11. That day shaped and transformed all of us. I remember feeling overwhelmed, frightened and vulnerable. As time passed and more information emerged, I remember feeling both patriotic and angry. I did my best to convey my experiences to my niece, but I am certain that I will never find the words to recreate such a pivotal event in my life.
When Robby was born I struggled with how I was going to educate him about September 11 without causing undo fear and anxiety. After some thought, I decided it was best to focus on the humanity and the heroes that emerged during the tragedy. When he was a few months old, I strapped him to my chest and we baked cookies to deliver to our local fire department.
As Robby grew older, I began to reveal more about the significance of September 11. Timmy has joined our tradition, and now baking cookies for the firehouse is an annual event. Both boys know about the planes and the deaths. But they also know about the heroes and the helpers. More than feeling fear and anger, I hope that they will always demonstrate gratitude on this anniversary.
Robby is now 14 years old, and yesterday we baked our 15th batch of September 11 cookies. As he was mixing the dough, I again was struck by the passage of time. My goodness, where has the time gone?