Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The 9/11 Generational Gap

I have to admit.  I don't know about other people, but I've been riding the high of the Bin Laden news. 

I've had so many emotions and thoughts surrounding 9/11 the last week.  Then the Bin Laden news happened.  It’s been hard to stop smiling this week.  I'm even still texting my friends (Whom are solders) to talk about it.

Then I got home, and the celebration ended.

My neighbors have small kids. Since it was nice, the whole family was playing in front of the house. They gave a wave hello and then one of the kids asked me, "Is this guy a big deal and where were you for 9/11."

I knew one day this would happen. It was a matter of time. 

I once asked my folks where were they when they heard about JFK.  Now it was my turn to fill that generational gap.

First I told him about the World Trade Center.  I even showed them a picture of the Twin Towers on my phone.  I explained how a lot of people worked in that area and lots of people went to help the victims.  Next, I explained how the buildings were a land mark in the city.  Something the people loved seeing.

I was nervous at first, but it was easier explaining it than I thought.

Next I told him where I was.  I was on my couch and turned on the news.  I didn't have class till late that day, so I luckily had the TV on.  I turned the news on, just as the second tower collapsed.

Then I had to answer his final question, "is this guy a big deal".

The simple answer is yes.  But I knew what the question really meant.  He really meant, "Should we really celebrate this guy’s death."

I had to think this through before answering.  How do you explain to a ten year old that it’s okay to celebrate this death?

As I continued to stutter, the father called the kid over, and I made my escape by saying good bye.

I remember thinking about the days following 9/11.  Local schools had special classes to explain the terrorist attacks to kids.   I really hope they are doing the same thing again.  Both school and parents need to explain this important news.  After all.  This will be something that history books will talk about. 

We don’t want kids to celebrate someone’s death, but we need to educate them on this one instance.  This was something different.  This was justice being served.  As always, our troops delivered. 

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