Today marks the 14 year anniversary of the worst act of terrorism, since Pearl Harbor, on US soil. We have compiled a list of stories that intertwine parenting with the events of that day. Fourteen years have passed and when this day arrives it feels so fresh in our minds and we need some reminders that there is hope, good, and innocence in the world.
Breastfeeding when the news hits
For many, the news of the day will forever have a connection to their newborns. Jessica Marie was at home with her 11-day-old daughter that morning. She remembers sitting on the couch nursing her daughter when she turned on the news just in time to see the second plane hit.
I was scared… I called her dad at work and told him to come home because I was freaking out. I told him that if I knew our world is going to come to this I wouldn’t have had our daughter.
She says, of her now 14-year-old, that when she turned 12 she started asking about why there was war all the time.
and unfortunately these days I don’t have an answer for her. My answer is our government is twisted and corrupt and we don’t know who to trust, that we are hoping her generation will get those corrupted government officials out, all of them, every last single one, and hopefully her generation can save us. I tell her we need a revolution!!
New life brings World Trade Center full circle
Last month, a baby was born at the World Trade Center. It was the first baby born there since the attacks 14 years ago. A woman from Queens was trying to get to the hospital with her husband and toddler but the baby had other plans. At 2:36am on August 4th Port Authority Officers assisted the mom in delivering a healthy baby girl on the concourse of the transit station.
The 9/11 Babies
While this day is a very somber one for most people and memories of loss and terror haunt so many of us for others there is the constant reminder that even in the saddest of moments there can be joy found.
Today is the 14th birthday of 13,238 American children. Among them are four teens who have allowed themselves to be the young faces of 9/11 Day, a project that asks participants to pledge to do one good deed on 9/11 to spread love instead of fear.
Trevor Naman, was born in Monroeville, Penn., just an hour away from where United Flight 93 crashed 4 hours and 4 minutes before he entered the world at 2:07pm. He is now six-feet-tall and plays hockey and football. He is travelling to Manhattan to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as part of the 9/11 Day kickoff.
Hillary O’Neill’s mom, Heather, was in the midst of labour that morning. Her father recalls Heather requesting the TV’s be turned off around 11am so she could focus on labour. Hillary made her entrance around 2:55pm. Now a ninth grader in Norwalk, Conn. she is an avid reader and works as a camp counsellor. She is a budding philanthropist, setting up lemonade stands to raise money for a local cancer charity called Al’s Angels.
Being born on Sept. 11, it sort of made me live in the moment, because anything bad can happen. It’s almost shaped who I am. A lot of people, when they hear I was born on 9/11, it brings smiles to their faces because they realize that something very bad happened that day, but it was also a day when some good things happened.
Jake Tomlinson just couldn’t wait to make his grand entrance. His mother’s water broke three weeks early and by 12:23pm he was snuggled into his mother’s arms.
I just had a beautiful baby and was more excited about that than worrying about, oh gosh, what did I do, bringing this child into a world like this?
Jake is the oldest of four boys and is a wrestler and football player.
But the most incredible birth story of that day has to go to Anish Shirvastava. When Anish’s mom went into labour his uncle decided to stay home from work so he could meet his nephew. Anish’s uncle worked in the World Trade Center. Anish was born at 10:05am, just 6 minutes after the first tower collapsed. Now he is a typical teen. He loves reading, is quite a guitarist and is an Xbox gamer. Anish’s mother, Jaya, explains that the 2 men now have a special bond and believes Anish was sent to save his uncle’s life. Anish is a little more humble about it,
I really didn’t have anything to do with it, mom, it was just by chance that I was born.
David Paine, founder of 9/11 Day say these kids symbolize hope.
They came to the world with hope and kindness and innocence. These children are representatives of the future, and they symbolize the side of goodness and how everybody came together on the day of that tragedy.
A Haunting Memory
Actor, Jimi Mistry spent some time, just a week before the attacks, showing his wife and new daughter around the city he called home while filming The Guru. He recalls a video he took of his wife breastfeeding their two-month-old on the steps of the World Trade Center.
I remember very, very vividly it was a week to the day before 9/11 and me and my two-month-old daughter and my wife went downtown to get the Staten Island ferry for our final hurrah to New York. It was a dead quiet, a beautiful sunny day and I was videoing my wife breastfeeding on the steps of the World Trade Center, and walking to the ferry
He now says that he is so haunted by the memory that he hasn’t been able to watch the video since. It sits in his loft along side 2 tickets for the WTC observation deck.
I haven’t taken my daughter back to New York since then but I’m going to take her back one day.
For parents, memories of events like this often intertwine with their children. These stories often offer hope to the world. When terrorist plan events like this is rarely about the death toll to them, their end goal is to cause mass panic and control our lives with that fear. While we should never forgot the events and the lives lost we also need to make sure they do not meet that goal by turning those tragedies into inspiration to give more, to make our lives more enjoyable, to spend more time with family, to raise our children with compassion and empathy. When we can achieve those goals no terrorist will ever win.