You know, it’s a fact of life that as parents and caregivers, we often face tough questions from our kids. And one of the most challenging topics to tackle is September 11th, 2001. Most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the shocking news of the attacks. But the truth is, most of our children weren’t even born yet. So, how do we talk to them about this day that changed the world?
As I reflect on that fateful day, I find myself vividly recalling the moment when I first learned about the attacks. I was in the middle of a shower, with the radio playing in the background. The voice of the radio host trembled as he grappled to find the right words, attempting to both convey the gravity of the situation unfolding on the east coast and provide solace to those tuned in. It struck me profoundly how challenging it must have been to deliver such heartbreaking news. Little did I know that, years later, I would shoulder a similar responsibility in the aftermath of the events of 1 Oct.
Let’s step back in time for a moment, to a world where cell phones weren’t in everyone’s pocket, and communication was a bit different. It was September 11th, 2001, and I was a high school senior at Durango High School here in Las Vegas. Back then, my buddies Alan, Marcus, and I had our own version of instant communication. We used walkie-talkies to stay in touch when we were out and about. That morning, as I got ready for school, I remember being in my truck, fiddling with the walkie-talkie, and asking Alan and Marcus if they had heard anything about the attacks. We were all puzzled by the fragmented news that was coming through.
Little did we know that it was a day that would change our lives, even here in Las Vegas. At school, our classrooms became makeshift newsrooms as TVs were wheeled in. We watched, sometimes in disbelief and sometimes in horror, as events unfolded on the other side of the country. It was a day when the curriculum was set aside, and instead, we learned about the fragility of our world and the resilience of the human spirit.
So, when talking to our children, where do we start?