Ransom Garcia

Ransom Garcia

Weekdays 3pm-7pm

A visitor traces the date etched in a marble slab on the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial.

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.┬áBack 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?

  • 1. Consider Their Age and Worldview:

    Boy in blue shirt.

    Boy in blue shirt.

    So, here’s the thing: kids today don’t have the memories we do. They weren’t there when it happened, and their understanding of the world is different. Start by considering your child’s age and what they already know about September 11th. Tailor your conversation to their level of maturity and curiosity.

  • 2. Empathy and Openness:

    Mom talking to girl in teal blue shirt.

    Mom talking to girl in teal blue shirt.

    Begin with empathy. Let your child know that this was a sad and scary day for many people. Encourage them to ask questions and share their feelings. Create a safe space where they can express themselves without judgment.

  • 3. Using Everyday Language:

    Mom hugging little boy

    Mom hugging little boy

    Now, when explaining what happened, use simple and everyday language. You might say that some very bad things happened on that day. Assure them that they are safe and that the people responsible were dealt with.

  • 4. A Day That Changed the World:

    Airport Security

    Airport Security

    Explain that September 11th, 2001, was a day when some very misguided individuals attacked the United States. It’s what led to many changes in the world, like airport security and how countries work together to prevent such things from happening again.

  • 5. Heroes Among Us:

    First Responders

    First Responders

    Share stories of bravery and heroism from that day. Talk about how first responders and regular folks came together to help each other. It’s a powerful reminder of the goodness that can shine through even in the darkest of times.

  • 6. Encourage Questions:

    Parent listening to their child

    Parent listening to their child

    And remember, it’s okay for your child to ask questions, even if you don’t have all the answers. Sometimes, just being there to listen and provide comfort is what they need most.

  • It Takes a Village

    9/11 GraphicSo, in a world that’s different from the one we knew back then, we can help our kids understand the significance of September 11th with compassion and openness. Share your own experiences, keep the conversation age-appropriate, and, most importantly, be there to guide them through this piece of history that shaped our world

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