From the Archives // Reading about 9/11 with your Children
Originally published last September on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
In our country, we recently remembered the tenth anniversary of the tragedy of September 11. I will be completely honest with you - I have actively avoided discussing this with my children. How to handle it, how to explain it, how to give it the gravity that it deserved yet be appropriate for their ages. It overwhelmed me, as did the tragedy itself.
However, this year I spotted two books via Elizabeth Foss' blog and immediately popped them into my Amazon cart and ordered them. Money well spent as they were wonderful resources this year and I plan to return to them many, many times in the future.
The Little Chapel that Stood is the story of a small church in New York City that is located near where the Twin Towers once stood. The story starts with the history of the building - George Washington and Alexander Hamilton both attended here. The church has been a refuge for Americans during the depression and for immigrants new to our country. The book then eases into the story of 9/11 and tells how once again this small church was a refuge and sanctuary for those that worked tirelessly to rescue those trapped in the Twin Towers. Written as a poem, it is a gentle way to tell of the sacrifice of the emergency workers who served our country that day. It touches on the concept of freedom and why it is so important and worth fighting for.
The second book was Fireboat. This is the story of an old fireboat that had served New York City for many years on the Hudson River. In 1931, the John J. Harvey fireboat was launched and it was the shiniest, fastest and largest fireboat of them all. It fought fires on the river for years, but New York city began to change and the fireboat wasn't as needed anymore. It was going to be sold as scrap when a group of friends bought it in 1995 and restored it to it's original working order for fun. However, on September 11, the John J. Harvey was an important piece in the rescue operations - shuttling people across the river safety and pumping water to the firetrucks when they could get to water pipes because they were broken and buried under the city's rubble. A true story that tells how even this small, seemingly insignificant, boat made a difference on 9/11.