One Way to Talk With Your Kids About 9/11

It’s the 12th anniversary of September 11th, when almost 3,000 people were killed here in America.  For most of us, this day’s events are clearly fixed into our memories.  We still grapple with their significance.

My kids have no idea about the events of that day or what they meant on any level.

As a homeschooler, it’s my job to teach them.  Because my kids are young and I don’t want to scare them, instead of going through all the gory details, we’re talking today about the general facts of what happened that awful day.   Yes, airplanes were taken over by terrorists and flown into buildings.  Many, many, people lost loved ones.  It is a very sad day in American History.

I cannot help but cry as I remember it.  And I’m letting my kids see it.

We remember those almost 3,000 injured and killed.

We honor those who fought back, who helped evacuate the twin towers, who searched for survivors, who provided medical care, and who cleaned up the rubble, by talking about their bravery and selflessness.

Is there anyone braver than a first responder?

Here's to the heroes that walk amongst us, whether they wear a cape or not.

To the heroes that walk (and have walked) amongst us, thank you, whether you wear a cape or not.

Why do we memorialize things?

I want my kids to understand their history and to respect it, even if it’s drawn in broad strokes at this age.  And I want them to understand the true sacrifice made by all those helpers.  To be thankful for real heroes.

And I want to celebrate resilience:  the ability to recover from difficulty.

It’s not what happens to you in life (you can’t control it most of the time), but how you respond to it that matters.


Brainpop has a great video on the topic here.  Watch it first to ensure you’re comfortable with it before sharing it with your kids.

NPR’s StoryCorps, (one of my favorite projects ever) has a very moving story on a boss who led his team to safety though he himself did not survive the disaster.  Listen to Connie Labetti’s story here.

I regularly use This Day in History for ideas on things to share with my kids.  Here’s their take on 9/11.

Daily Prompt: Thank You

The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

Photographers, artists, poets: show us THANKS.


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