Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Recent history

Everyone knows what today is. It's amazing how quickly the severity of 9/11 has diluted, though--I remember people talking 6 years ago about how the date was cursed, and no one would ever want to get married or have a baby on September 11. However, most people don't feel that way about December 7 anymore, and this country was torn apart in 1941 because of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It's the natural progression of things, I guess--life goes on, the past gets further and further behind us.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about 9/11 and its fallout from my children's perspective. Neither of them was alive in 2001. This will be another event in the history books for them, one that their ancient parents actually remember--like what the Kennedy assassination was for my generation. However, their lives are incredibly impacted by the results of 9/11. Our country has been at war for their entire lives. In fact, we invaded Afghanistan while I was in the hospital waitng to have Abby. Well, I myself didn't invade--I was in a hospital bed--but the US invaded. How old will she be before the US is not at war anymore? The Vietnam war lasted 16 years. Could Abby be driving before we are out of Iraq? It seems possible. I cannot imagine growing up with your country being at war.

At the same time, though, I'm not sure how much it will really affect their lives. It's not like the 1940s, when people had to ration their food and supplies and mothers dreaded the day their sons turned 18, knowing they would be on the next train out of town to go fight. The worst we have to deal with is the high price of filling the gas tanks of our monster SUVs. We live as civilians largely unaffected by the war, especially if no one close to us is enlisted. It's important to me that Abby and Ethan understand the sacrifices that other people have made--on 9/11 and after. I just hope I can teach them in a way that makes them see it as something other than history.

1 comment:

Aunt Joyce said...

What a moving, powerful writing, Nancy! It should make all of us take a step back and take a good look at the reality of what you wrote. I heard very little talk of what happened on 9-11-01 during the day on Tuesday. I think this is the first year that I've noticed that. Thanks for your wake-up call.