Yesterday morning, Cuddlebug asked me about 9/11. He wanted to know if "nine-eleven" means the numbers to call the police. I answered that yes, 9-1-1 is what we dial if there's an emergency (we've discussed before but I guess he forgot?) but I suspected that wasn't really what he'd seen reference to, so I added that "nine-eleven" refers to a date, September 11, 2001. By that point I had Bearhug's attention too. I tried to explain the significance of that date but couldn't find the words.
"A very bad thing happened that day." I started. That doesn't even begin to cover it, I thought.
Impatient with my hesitation, Bearhug jumped in to fill in the blanks for me.
"I know, Mama, a horrible thing. It was a twister... right?"
"Uh... no, sweetie. Worse than a twister."
The images of that day flashed through my mind. Planes crashing into the sides of the twin towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Flames and endless smoke. People jumping from windows in desperation. Survivors covered in ash, wandering in shock. How do you explain the horrors of that day, the unthinkable acts that took the lives of almost 3,000 people? How do you explain that it was caused not by a natural disaster, but a deliberate act born out of hatred and evil?
Bearhug looked at me. "I know what's worse than a twister," he said, "...a hurricane! Was it a hurricane?"
Oh, the innocence of children...
"No honey, not a hurricane either." Words eluded me.
It was time for the boys to leave for school. "We'll have to talk about it later, guys."
And we will, at some point, on a very basic level at least. I just haven't figured out how yet...
This video tribute is very moving:
From last year
Remembering Debora Maldonado
Remembering Joseph Maffeo
Friends of Project 2,996 (Tributes written by those who don't have a blog)
If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.