The Children Of 9/11

By Lawrence W. Daly

Today is the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11/2011 attack upon our nation’s soil. The four acts of terrorism which occurred that day took the lives of several children and many children lost their parents. It is difficult to know how those who lost loved ones felt on that day or continue to feel today. Everyone who was killed by the terrorist were victims of an evil faction. However, the children who we see as vulnerable and innocent due to their age were lost in a matter of seconds.

Their lives were just beginning and for those of us who advocate protecting children, the reminder of the 10 year anniversary is additionally difficult. You can’t help but wonder where these children would have been if only they were not taken from us at such an early age.

In wondering what they were thinking at the time of the airplanes slamming into the Towers, makes you question what thoughts of anticipation they had the ability to understand what was happening around them. Did they experience the terror of dying prior to their ultimate deaths or did they watch the adults around them misunderstanding or understanding what lay ahead for all of them.

So who were these brave children who without knowledge of what these terrorists were doing, gave their ultimate and heroic lives. According to Yahoo, this is how many children were killed and where they were at the moment of their deaths:

·         The dead included 8 children:
o   5 on American 77 ranging in age from 3 to 11
o   3 on United 175 ages 2, 3, and 4
o   The youngest victim was a 2 year-old child on Flight 175
o   In the buildings, the youngest victim was 17  

Did the terrorists consider that there would be children killed during their plight to kill as many Americans as possible? According to Charles Kurzman (November, 2010) he stated that: 

Shaykh Muhammed Sayyid al-Tantawi, imam of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt:
“Attacking innocent people is not courageous, it is stupid and will be punished on the day of judgment. … It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom; it is courageous to defend oneself and not to attack.”

Why would one Muslim regret what had happened on 9/11, but others championed the killing of innocent Americans. The problem with understanding this religion is there are no easy answers because worldwide the Koran says one thing, but some Muslims say they follow what it says but then kill others.

Investigating the does and don’ts of why some Muslims become terrorists and seek to kill others, especially Americans has been a problem since Jesus walked this earth. Many articles and books have been written on this subject and that is not the point of this article, but it is worth mentioning.

The trickle down affect occurred when these children lost their lives. Their families, friends, peers, schoolmates and so forth felt the loss of the death of these innocent children. The children who died left behind relationships with many individuals who loved, cared, and mattered to them.  

The children of 9/11 lost many relatives in the travesty which took many individuals lives. The fathers and mothers who went to work that fall morning never came home. They had died at the hands of terrorists. Left behind were husbands and wives, children and other family members and friends.
Pat Hargrave, left, tells her daughters that losing their dad on 9/11 is part of their story, not all of it. T.J. Hargrave was one of hundreds of New Jersey dads who went to work in the city on a gorgeous fall day 10 years ago and never came home. Their loss is a shared wound never far from the minds of the people who live in the bedroom communities of northern New Jersey (CNN, September 8, 2011).

There are so many stories like the Hargrave’s. War is brutal and the victims, who find themselves in a tug-a-war with the enemy, should remind each American that the borders of the United States have to be protected from any and all enemies. The safeguards which were put in place to assist this country from being attacked have prevented a 9/11 from happening since that horrible day.

If you had children who were under the age of 18 when 9/11 occurred, today they are probably adults and have a different insight into what happened that day.  Mostly everyone can remember where they were on 9/11. When one socializes and discusses where they were on 9/11 it is amazing just how much detail one can provide. This rare memory occurrence is sometimes known as the “Flashbulb Memory”. 

These types of memories are seen in where were you when John F. Kennedy was killed; where were you when the Challenger exploded. The younger you are the more times you have discussed your “Flashbulb Memories” with family and friends, which reinforces the memory and allows great recall of the specific event.

Too often children are exposed to traumatic events which will emotionally and mentally traumatize them in so many ways. It is unlikely that any of you will ever get over the 9/11 incident. In the meantime we can learn from what happened and learn how to protect the children from being harmed if not killed.

Today, I honor all of those who became victims, are victims and those who were harmed due to the violence the terrorists committed on America’s soil which will never be forgotten. So let us honor the children of 9/11 and remember them for their memories and their right to stand out from the rest. They are little heroes to all of us.

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