Just like the majority of families, Amber and I went on an excursion to NYC this week for Easter break. She was so excited with the bright lights in the big city, shopping, shopping, and more shopping. We did everything you could possibly do in NYC. Radio City Music Hall, Time Square, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, SOHO and Greenwich Village. We didn't get the chance to take in a Broadway show and we plan on doing that the next time we are there.
On our last day in NYC, I debated taking her to The Freedom Tower. I remember vividly where I was on 9/11/2001. I couldn't believe what I saw on the television. People choosing to jump from the buildings instead of burning to death. People scurrying. Ashes everywhere. First responders. Police. Firefighters. It was so surreal. It was like a scene from a movie. My heart bleeds to this day from the horror America experienced that day. Those 2700 people are not coming home.
My daughter is 8 years old. I was scared to death to talk to her about this. How could I explain to her how people can be so evil? How could I explain to her that there were kids who weren't coming home? Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, bff's, boyfriends, girlfriends; they aren't coming home.
We walked closer to the Freedom Tower and I had tears in my eyes. I clenched my daughter's hand and I asked her if she knew about 9/11. Amber told me she heard about evil men crashing a plane into buildings. I couldn't even believe she knew that much.
I continued to tell her about it and how 2700 names are listed on the two memorials and how the Twin Towers used to be there. Amber asked me, "why someone would want to hurt others?" I told her they tried to hurt America because we are "Land of the Free because of the brave." I continued to tell her that the men who did this were not right in the head. People don't go around hurting other people. Now, we have these memorials for these people who risked their lives. Now, their families as well as America can remember them.
You see there is a lesson here. America is much stronger now and more security measures are put into place for flying, etc... It might have taken awhile to rebuild that building but we did it. When we fall, we get back up again.
It also means to hug your kids tight. Tell your loved ones you love them and never go to bed angry. Life is too short and we don't know what will happen next.
When we got up to leave, a cool breeze swept in and splashed water on her and I. Amber said, "I love you so much Mommy!" I scooped her up in my arms and gave her the biggest hug, kissed her cheek, and looked her square in the eye and said, "I so adore you, Amber and I am ever so proud of you. Keep being the amazing little girl you are! I love you Amber Grace."