Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11

Every year on September 11th I watch the History channel - or any other station that is airing coverage of the nine-eleven attacks - and I bawl my eyes out. This year is no different. Some years it feels like it was yesterday and other years it feels like it's been forever since the world shifted on its axis.

My children don't remember what it was like before 9/11/01. They don't remember when being Muslim or Middle-Eastern wasn't synonymous with terrorism or when going through security at an airport meant someone glancing at you to make sure you didn't have an AK-47 strapped to your back, not taking off your shoes to check for explosives. It breaks my heart to compare their knowledge of the horrors that people are capable with to my own innocence at the same age. They have been teased at school because their father, the love of my life and one of the most kind and generous men I've ever known, is Iranian. Daughter and her friends joke about her terrorist family background and the Things - taking everything literally and personally - come home two or three times every school year filled with indignant rage because someone called them 'terrorist' at school.

Joking or serious it all cuts me to the quick. They know about things that no child should know about - as do all of their peers. Childhood has changed forever and always in this new world that we live in.

But...

When it became known that the monsters behind the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon were evil, crazed maniacs who called themselves Muslim, our next door neighbor called us just to let us know that she knew we were good people, good neighbors and she "prayed we were not victimized" because of husband's background.

The kids teachers invited husband to speak to their classrooms and put a face to the nameless label "middle-eastern" for their classmates.

We received phone calls from parents of our children's friends letting us know they were talking to their children about the danger and wrongness of blanketing every foreigner with the label of terrorist.

Firefighters, police officers and other first-responders after the attack are heroes I hold up to my children to show them that despite all the horror and evil people are capable of, they are also capable of unbelievable courage, bravery and selflessness.

My children know about evil, but they also know about good. My job is to make sure they see and recognize it.

This is the day that I remind myself not of the bad that is in the world, but all that is right and kind and good in the world.

And I cry for us all.

6 comments:

Nana said...

It hits me the same way. Love you, daughter.

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm crying right along with you, my Bloggy Friend. This brought tears to my eyes. I am ashamed of the behavior of those around us. It warmed my heart to read of all the things those that know you and your family did to clear up those misconceptions.

Suburban Correspondent said...

It really was the day the world changed for all of us here in the United States. It bothers me that my kids take for granted that there are people evil (or misguided) enough to fly planes full of innocent people into skyscrapers. At least our generation had the luxury of being shocked by it all.

Jason, as himself said...

I'm so glad people in your life are going out of the way to show they're not prejudiced toward your family. It's refreshing to hear.

MOM #1 said...

Prejudice in any form or fashion is so disgusting, but I'm glad you've taught your family and even helped your community to rise above it. It does help to be proactive in the learning process rather than sit and sulk about it.

9-11 is so tragic. I will always remember exactly where I was and what I was doing and especially how afraid I was.

It really puts some sense of gravity into me when I watch the news and see those poor countries that are constantly at war. Can you imagine having the feeling we felt on 9-11 every. single. day.

The horror!

The Hotfessional said...

I remember the day my ex-husband called me an "A-RAB". Burns to the core.

__hugs__