Ten years. I can hardly believe that it has been ten years. That day is so firmly entrenched in memory, in excruciating detail, that it's almost impossible to think that a decade has passed.
It's hard for me to think about today's anniversary. Every year is difficult, but the "10 Years" label has been especially poignant. Part of it is the realization that my children will never know the innocence of the pre-9/11 world. Part of it is knowing that there are still those out there that wish to harm our country. Most of it is inexplicable. The anniversary brings out its usual swirl of emotions; they are all just particularly sharp today.
I haven't watched any of the documentaries or specials about the anniversary of the attacks. I haven't wanted to. I can't. But today, as part of my reflection and my healing process, I plan to watch one with my children. Up until now, I have never spoken to them about it. I know it's an important historical event, but I have wanted to shield them from it. I never wanted them to come away from a conversation about it feeling unsafe. But I think it's time.
I think it's time for them to hear about the heroes in the New York Police Department and Fire Department. It's time for them to learn about the brave men and women on Flight 93, who probably saved their mother's life. It's time for them to learn about the feeling our country had in the days and weeks following the attacks - a time of togetherness, cooperation, and spirit that I never thought I'd see.
I hope that passing along my memory of September 11, 2001 to my children will bring about some understanding for them, and a degree of closure for me. I want this day to not only be about mourning lives lost. Today is a day to celebrate heroism and be proud to be an American.
For my account of the events that took place on that Tuesday, click here.