Some days of the year are perfect for birthdays: the first day of a new season or New Year’s Eve. There are days people say are less than ideal for birthdays: February 29th, April 1st, Yom Kippur, and Christmas. And then there are days like today, September 11th. When the clock struck midnight on September 11th, 2001, it seemed like an ordinary Tuesday. All of that changed after 8:00 a.m. when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
I couldn’t imagine having a September 11th, 2001 birthday… until I met Josh.
Josh is my husband’s cousin born on September 11th, 2001. He turns 13 today. On a day when there was so much madness in the world, there was also so much right with it. I’m not just talking about the people who helped strangers escape from the buildings, the brave passengers aboard United Flight 93, or the first responders who saved thousands of people. I’m talking about the babies who were born that day. For many mothers and fathers, September 11th, 2001 isn’t the day America was attacked, it was also a day they brought a child into the world.
Even though 13 years have passed, my memories of September 11th, 2001 are still vivid. Time hasn’t faded the memory of the black smoke billowing out of downtown Manhattan. I still see throngs of people silently walking uptown on Third Avenue, covered with ash, in my mind’s eye. But as Josh and all of the other September 11th, 2001 babies become teenagers today, I am trying to remind myself that miracles happened that day too.
Where were you that day? How do you mark this solemn day at home or in your classroom? Please share your memories of September 11th by leaving a comment on this post.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).