9/11 – Eleven years later

My son asked me today what Patriot Day is. I hesitated, unsure of how to answer his question and maintain his innocence. Do I want my six-year old to know of the horrors that exist in this world? Do I want him to fear airplanes flying in the sky or people who have different beliefs than us?

The answer is no, but I answered him honestly nonetheless.

I explained that there are people in this world that are filled with hate, and they use that hate to hurt others. I told him that on this day, eleven years ago, some bad people crashed airplanes into the Twin Towers and many people died. I told him the buildings are gone now, but our country built a new one to take their place. I showed him a picture of One World Trade Center and he said, “Cool!” I hugged him a little longer than usual before he walked away.

1_WTC_rendering

I stared at the photo of One World Trade Center and felt a mix of emotions. This building represents our nation’s resilience, our ability to overcome adversity and rebuild. The reflective glass symbolizes our remembrance – we will always reflect on the loss our country endured.

I also felt emptiness as I gazed upon the photo. Despite the majesty of the new structure, it can never be what once was. It can never replace the lives that were senselessly taken or erase the scar with which our nation is forever branded.

I read my 9/11 blog post from six years ago and although my life has changed, my feelings have not.

It has been eleven years since that horrible day.

Eleven.

Eleven years ago, on September 11th, our country suffered the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in American history. And for eleven years, on this day a heaviness settles over this country as we mourn the loss of thousands innocent lives.

Our country, divided during this election year, comes together to honor those who lost their lives. We mourn with the families who grieve their lost loved ones and we remember the indelible mark left on our great nation. We will never be the same, and we will never forget.

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11. September 2012 by Shannon
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