Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11: The historical significance for our children

I had just turned 8 years old when the Berlin wall came down. My mom made my older brother and I watch it on t.v. We didn't really want to at the time. We were 8 and 12, we didn't care about Berlin or a bunch of people screaming and dancing with hammers next to a huge slab of graffiti cement. We wanted to go trade our garbage pail kid cards or ride bikes. But my mom made us watch it anyway. She told us history was being made and that one day we would have to tell our children where we were and that we remembered watching it. Afterward, we probably went upstairs to our rooms and blared the song, "Parents Just Don't Understand," by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. But as an adult, and a parent myself, I know my mother understood all too well. I appreciate that she made it an event of significance, because I can say I remember where I was that day as history unfolded.
9/11 did not happen in my kids' lifetime. Even though it happened before they were born, I want them to know it was an important, world-changing day. I want them to know that it is a day of significance, and to grow up knowing their parents were deeply impacted with the entire nation on that day. Although the terrorist attacks were not in their lifetime, the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is. And that is a day I can help them remember being a part of.
We are blessed here in West Michigan, as hosting one of only 14 Healing Fields in the country this year. It is an awe-inspiring event. An American flag stands for each of the 3,200 victims of September 11th. It is an amazing display to witness and an amazing tribute to the lives lost on that tragic day which shocked our nation and our souls, ten years ago.

It is on display at Cannonsburg Ski Area in Rockford through September 13. Attached to each flag stand are the names and short bios of each of the 3,200 victims, 21 of which were Michigan residents. We will never forget. And we will ensure our children and our children's children never forget, either.
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." -President George W. Bush

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