It’s Sept. 11, 2013. Twelve years. A lot happens in 12 years. A whole generation has come and for many 9/11 is a day of tributes on TV, a discussion in the classroom or simply black white words on the pages of their history books.

It’s understandable. It’s like how growing up I didn’t understand the gravity of Nov. 22, 1963: The day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Or even April 4, 1968, when Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. We all know about these events, but it’s a completely different experience to have lived through them.

All three of those events helped shape our lives, regardless if we were there because they changed our country. For Sept. 11, I’m always intrigued how it changed the conversations around discrimination and acceptance in America.

We all saw the shift. For me it was surprising to witness. To be in the airport security lines and see the glares given to men wearing turbans. To hear family members say rude things about Muslims.  And as many of you know, the time I came face-to-face with a hate-filled, screaming racist. (If not, you can listen to my NPR-esque story here.)

Today is the 12th anniversary of the attacks that killed 2,983. And today one of my beautiful-souled friends spoke in front of six first-grade classes about how music and culture bring us together as people.

I wish I could have been there to see this warm man in his turban before wiggly giggly first-graders. He wrote about it on his Facebook page, noting that though the children didn’t know about the pain and terror of 9/11, today they learned more about togetherness, which honestly is the triumphant message.

“They just laughed and rejoiced learning to sing ‘Conga ! Conga! Conga! Me gusta la Conga!’ while being accompanied by a Sikh man with a turban and beard playing the punjabi Dhol drum! Today we celebrated our diverse and rich cultural backgrounds through music and song, and learned from a ‘Lion’s Mane’ how to tie a Patka and that ‘when we learn something new.. It makes us stronger!’ God bless!”

So on this day, as we’ve reflected on the horrible tragedy of all the pain, loss and broken hearts and broken dreams, we should also try to focus on the triumphant message of togetherness.

God bless.

Unity amidst Diversity by ~eddypua on deviantART



Honoring Sept. 11 Through Teaching Our Kids, Each Other — 9 Comments

  1. For some reason, I’m feeling this 9/11 anniversary more than I have previously. Perhaps because of recent losses? I don’t know.

    You’ll recall our wonderful afternoon together last year when we were joyful in each others’ company, laughing like adoring sixth graders, and that awful man intruded on our fun?

    For some reason, he thought we might find great interest in his crazy POV that 9/11 didn’t happen.

    He, and his heinous teeth, were wrong.

    • I’ve been thinking of you a lot today. Yes, I remember that snaggle-toothed moron. Waste of space if you ask me. I’m so glad that luck/fortune/God whathaveyou intervened in 2001 because I’m so happy I have you in my life. You’re a true gem. *Muah.*

    • Thank you! I think that most people agree with you and I, but it’s hard to remember to do this in our everyday lives, ya know? I guess I should look up tips or something and write a post about that so in our moments of impatience, annoyance or bitterness, we can take a pause to step outside ourselves and see how we can be a kinder, gentler and more loving person… OK, sorry for the tangent, you just got me thinking. 🙂

      Thanks again for your comment.

    • You know I’ve gone and spoken to student groups about being a journalist, and 9/11 was such a big moment in my career that it’s interesting to talk to them because there’s an obvious disconnect between how they view the event and how I view the tragedy. I guess that’s why I try to focus on togetherness because that’s something that’s universal. 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a great rest of your day!

    • I can only imagine what it is like to be in New York on 9/11. I remember seven weeks after the attacks Hubby and I wanted to do something to “give back,” so we decided to fly to New York and put our pennies into the local economy. It was such a great time to visit because New York welcomed us with open arms and when people found out why we were in town, they treated us like family. I have long felt that New York is the greatest city on Earth, and have loved every moment of all my trips there, but this one after 9/11 was extra special. 🙂

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