We Are Parenting the Post 9-11 Generation

It’s a completely different world now, and my son was born into it. He’ll never know what the before was like, he won’t know what it was like to think of war as an idea and not a reality. With a father in the Marine Corps, he’ll be more affected by it than most. Benjamin will never know what that day was like. He’ll read about it, he’ll hear about it. He’ll probably see video clips about it. But he’ll never be able to fully understand the horror of 9-11. He’ll never feel the fear, the anguish, and the grief that we all felt. None of the children born after 9-11 will. It’s a bittersweet feeling for me.

On the one hand, I don’t want him to ever, ever have to experience something like 9-11. It’s a large part of why my husband still fights, and why I support him, and urge him to keep going when he feels like he has to quit. Neither of us wants him to go through that. We don’t want him to have to go to war because our generation didn’t have the stomach or the backbone to finish it. We want to make the sacrifice now so that Ben won’t have to. We want to finish this fight now so that he won’t be made to fight it as well. No mother wants their child to ever have to experience a day like 9-11. It’s only natural.

Yet at the same time I can already feel the nation forgetting. For him, September 11th will be a day he reads about in history books. It will be an event as foreign to him as Pearl Harbor was for us. He’ll know about it, he’ll read about it. But will it lose its meaning to our future generations? Thinking of that makes my heart break a little.