Dear Ainsley and Freddie,
Today is an important anniversary. I don't think I can really explain it to you yet, you're still so young. There's no way you could possibly understand the significance of this day.
Ten years ago, I was sitting in my office in Washington DC when I got an email from a coworker saying "A plane hit the World Trade Center" accompanied by an article.
I joined a bunch of my colleagues in the common room to see what was going on and I witnessed the second plane crashing into the second building. At that point, everyone in the room got silent and we knew this was no accident. I was driving home when the plane hit the Pentagon and I started to cry.
It's hard to explain the fear and confusion that settled into every one's bones that day. It was like nothing I've ever experienced before or since. For weeks and months, even years, following people were afraid of the everyday things they had done before the September 11th attacks. Flying and airport procedure changed forever. Going to work was different. Saying goodbye to someone you loved meant more.
I'm not sure when I'll be able to tell you the story of that day and everything surrounding it. How do I possibly explain the hate and evil that resides in this world? Someday I'll have to find a way. But for now, I'd rather you see the beauty that grew out of that day. The community that gathered, the patriotism that sprouted, and the appreciation showed.
So today, as we remember September 11, 2001, we go shopping and watch football and eat wings and bake cookies and play and laugh and hug and sing.
That's how we honor this day...we push aside any fear and keep living.