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Lost Innocence: The Day I Had to Tell My Children about 9/11

Today is the day I introduced my children to pure evil and terror.

by
Megan Fox

Bio

September 11, 2013 - 12:00 pm
Damon

1st Lt. Damon Leehan, Audrey Leehan, Emma 4, Ethan 15 months.

Today was the day. I had dreaded this day since my children were born. I had sheltered them from the photos, we didn’t talk about it in front of them, and I hadn’t shed a tear about 9/11 in many years because we basically ignored it in my house the way people do with terrible truths around little ones. But my oldest daughter is in second grade now and I’m sure other 7 year olds are learning about Patriot Day in school. So today, our school day at home is explaining 9/11 to my children. What a task. The Discovery Channel, thankfully, has a special running with footage and family members remembering the lost.

We started watching the story of Flight 93. Halfway through, tears were streaming down my face. Today is the day I introduced my children to pure evil and terror. How I wish this day had never happened, for those families and for mine. At least I can now explain why their uncle, 1st Lt. Damon Leehan, died and why he was at war. Now they can connect the pictures of the buildings falling to why their cousins lost their daddy. Today is also his birthday. Today, this family remembers Damon, a man born on a day that brought his family so much joy, a day that would live in infamy, and a day that would send him to war from which he would not return.

President Barack Obama tried to turn September 11 into a “day of national service” where you’re supposed to go paint public buildings or something. But most people understand today is a day of national mourning. Mourning for the lost lives, the missing fathers and mothers, the firefighters and first responders who never came down those stairs, and the servicemen and women who went off to war. Today is a day to honor the service of the people who died and to grieve whatever loss you have experienced from the aftermath of that terrible day.

For me, I’m mourning the loss of our hero and the innocence of my children who have now seen images they will never be able to forget.

Megan Fox is a homeschooling mom to her two girls ages 8 and 5 with a little boy on the way this summer and happy wife to her husband of fourteen years. She writes, gardens, composes conservative folk music and enjoys angering "faux feminists" as often as possible. www.Facebook.com/MeganFoxWriter

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Top Rated Comments   
I can watch horror movies and laugh. I can watch gross blood fests like "Kill Bill" and laugh. But a few minutes into "WTC" or United 93" and tears are dripping off my chin. I still shake a little with anger while watching them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am dreading telling my daughter the full extent of 9-11, as well. She will be six in a couple of weeks. My son is fourteen, and was about her age when we started talking about it--but only because my husband's National Guard unit was deploying. It's a horrible lesson to have to teach innocent children. We have a beautiful annual remembrance ceremony in our town, and a permanent museum. We usually go after the ceremony, to see the memorial flowers and to walk through the museum and look at the artifacts from that day. I don't think I'm up to it today, with all that's going on in the world, so we are quietly remembering at home. Prayers to your family for the loss of your hero, and to all the other families who are remembering their loved ones today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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Ron Paul says that the 9/11 attacks were a response to American poliicy. In other words, the U.S. deserved it.
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/ron-paul-september-11-96660.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My children were old enough to remember what happened that day. It started for them when their mother, my wife called their schools and told the Principal in each that she would be sending one of our older sons to pick them up and bring them home. She wanted them close when she heard if I was dead or alive. I was on the 71st floor of tower 1 when the first plane hit. With a great deal of luck and effort I made it out with 10 minutes to spare before tower 2 collapsed. I made it home and was greated with tears of thanks and a great deal of love by my wife and children when I was finally able to make it home late that night. I still remember two of my children's friends sitting on the curb, watching the other fathers come home and waiting for theirs. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the top of tower 2 and would never come home. In later years, one of my sons would join the Army because he wanted some payback for the Islamists ruining the lives of so many of his friends and trying to kill his father. September 11 is always a solumn day in our house.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can watch horror movies and laugh. I can watch gross blood fests like "Kill Bill" and laugh. But a few minutes into "WTC" or United 93" and tears are dripping off my chin. I still shake a little with anger while watching them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
9-11-2001 was the day I had to explain evil to my 5 year old son. I will never forget him asking me why they ran the planes into the buildings. I told him I didn't know. It was an honest answer.

Yesterday, at 17 years old, he told me 9-11 is his earliest memory. I am glad he remembers and sad at the same time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So sorry for you tremendous loss, Megan. I think it's different to experience something as an adult. My kids were 4 & 6 at the time and they see it now in historic context. Sure, they are angry and can sense the magnitude, but their lens is different than mine.

You're a wonderful mom.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for the kind words. You're right, they will see it historically and I'm glad for it because the emotion it stirs up for me is difficult to take. Thank you for this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am dreading telling my daughter the full extent of 9-11, as well. She will be six in a couple of weeks. My son is fourteen, and was about her age when we started talking about it--but only because my husband's National Guard unit was deploying. It's a horrible lesson to have to teach innocent children. We have a beautiful annual remembrance ceremony in our town, and a permanent museum. We usually go after the ceremony, to see the memorial flowers and to walk through the museum and look at the artifacts from that day. I don't think I'm up to it today, with all that's going on in the world, so we are quietly remembering at home. Prayers to your family for the loss of your hero, and to all the other families who are remembering their loved ones today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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