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Our children will ask us where we were Sept. 11

As I reflected Wednesday on the events of a year ago, I remembered where I was, and who first told me the incomprehensible news. Since that day, I have thought of how our grade school teachers would tell us, "Go home and ask your parents where they were when man landed on the moon," or "Ask your parents where they were when they heard John F. Kennedy had been shot."

I am sure that one day one of my children will come home from school and ask me the parallel question: "Where were you when the planes flew into the World Trade Center?" What a flood of emotions that will bring back. It will not be a thought to dwell on, and I will probably answer my child briefly, in a vain attempt to restrain emotion, yet convey the pain we felt that day, why the day should be remembered, and why we had to move on. "It was a terrible, terrible day."

No, my generation does not yet own the privilege of being asked a question reminiscent of "Where were you when man landed on the moon?" We are restricted to the heartwrenching Sept.11. How will we feel when our children come home to ask where we were? We will wish that well-meaning teacher had not prompted our child, but we will understand that our children must know of that tragic day. It will hurt.

It may be fair to say that we will no longer ask our parents where they were when John F. Kennedy was shot. It cannot be any more pleasant for them to answer that than it will be for us to answer the question posed to us.

Rather, we will stick with "Where were you when the Eagle landed?"


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