This is not a post I was planning to write.
In fact, I was planning to avoid and ignore this date altogether. I always do. I even avoid social media for the entire 24 hours. (And those of y’all who know me, know exactly how impossible that actually is!)
You see, I was there that day.
Just hearing about it brings back the PTSD-like symptoms. I don’t discuss it, I will never be able to handle going to Ground Zero, and I will absolutely get up and leave the room if it’s discussed in detail. I even once got up and left in the middle of a sermon where I heard a preacher “using” the event and spreading propaganda. Because this is not propoganda. This isn’t up for political grandizing.
This is my life.
18 years later, I’m honestly fine about 363 1/2 days a year. But for about 1.5 days, I’m kinda a little mess.
My husband knows not to bring it up, but earlier he was bitterly talking about how “this is just history to young people now, they don’t get it, they didn’t live it.” (He moved to NYC just after.) I’m not bitter about that – I know it is looked at as “history” now. And that’s the point.
EVERY SINGLE DAY, WE ARE LIVING THROUGH THE FUTURE’S HISTORY COURSE.
When I, now a Homeschool Mom, get to this point in our history timeline, I really don’t know how I will be able to handle talking to my kids about it in detail. When you read stories about WWII/Holocaust survivors who never talked about their experiences – I really get it. To be honest, words just aren’t enough to describe that event. They freeze up right about in my throat.
(BTW, I did cover the story in my scrapbooks 6 months later, using pictures I took at the time and the actual email I wrote to family that same day to let them know I was okay. It was good to do, but not something I ever want to do again.)
And yet, we need to share the stories of individual people. Visitors to Pearl Harbor often say that their time with a survivor who shares their own story is the most powerful experience of their entire trip. This moment needs to be encapsulated and treated exactly like Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, and so on. Through the eyes of those who lived it. Not history books.
So I woke up (I’m 12 hours ahead of you guys, remember) and sat down to share this with you all once again. Because the stories MUST BE TOLD. Whether we actually want to or not. Ya’ll forgive me for not writing it all out in detail, but instead sharing links to older posts. It’s just easier for me that way.
We Must Remember.
My Story (written 10 years later): 9/11 posts on family blog
From My Older Blog: How to Teach Your Children About 9/11 (very good links and resources inside)
Other Resources I Recommend: (obviously not all-inclusive)
NBC-NY Tribute Videos (very moving and varied. many video links currently listed)
The Boatlift- Another Perspective, Survivor Stories (Video is good to show the enormity and horror – in a “cleaner” way, but from the perspective of everyday people trying to “be the helpers.” I think this is an exceptional story to show kids.)
9/11 is History Now. Here’s How American Kids Are Learning About It in Class Great food for thought as a home educator, even though told from the perspective of public school teachers. Great links inside article, and I think great ideas especially for middle/high schoolers.
Angel at Ground Zero (religious in nature, but another survivor story)
Finally, memories and pictures of my friend, Jenny Low Wong, from my days at NYU, who died in Tower 1. She was a fun, sweet, quiet soul, always willing to jump in and lend a hand on just about anything. Please learn her story. May we never forget.