Little Way of the Family


Sharing 9-11 With Our Children
September 11, 2011, 8:09 pm
Filed under: Children, Culture | Tags: , , , ,

Today we toured the U.S.S. Yorktown with our kids, as a way to commemorate 9-11. On our way, we had a chance to not only teach them about the attack, but also to tell them about what we were doing at the time, and how it affected us.
It occurred to me that, especially for our younger kids, 9-11 is history, no less so than World War II is history to me. What I was doing, was passing down oral history to my children.
Oral history is, I think, important for our children. Knowing where there parents and grandparents were during a particular event gives them a context they can’t get at school. It personalizes history and makes it real. The dividing line between entertainment and reality is getting more and more blurred (see, for instance, “Apollo 18”), so anything that can make that line more clear must be valuable.
We have experienced a wealth of history that we can and should share with our kids. I have seen the end of the cold war, the rise and fall of the space shuttle program, the Iranian hostage crisis, the dawn of the PC age and the internet, Chernobyl, Katrina, and so many other events. How many have I shared with my kids?
9-11 is clearly the “where were you when” event of our generatio

n, but it is not the only bit of history we have been a part of to share with our kids.

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