A few of the Frequently Asked Questions about September 11 that I have answered many times while leading tours or speaking to school groups.
In regard to my personal connection:
1. Did you talk to your husband that day? No, but I didn’t expect to. He was on duty. He was working.
2. Were you worried about your husband? As I watched the events unfold on the television I was worried about us as a nation. My main concern was how was I going to handle things and protect our daughters until he could get home. As a firefighter’s wife, I knew Bruce was well-trained and that his fellow firefighters had his back.
3. How are your daughters? Since September 11, 2001, they have graduated from high school, college, and graduate school. Meet wonderful men and married. Bruce would very proud of the women “his girls” have become. My daughters appreciate when people say their father was a hero but they didn’t lose a hero, they lost their daddy. I am a very proud mom and will talk your ear off about “my girls and their guys.”
4. Isn’t difficult for you to come here (WTC site)? It is more difficult for me to go to Bruce’s firehouse. It probably sounds strange but I don’t associate him with being here. Before I started volunteering at the Tribute Center I didn’t have a strong connection to the WTC site. I had only been here twice in my entire life. Once as a teen and once with Bruce on July 4, 1976.
5. How do you deal with the hate? I don’t have time to hate. I had two daughters to raise, a business to run and life to live. I believe Bruce died in the line of duty so no one took his life, he gave it.
6. Were you excited when bin laden was killed? I hadn’t spent 10 years waiting for bin laden to be killed (5/1/11). A long time ago I read or heard the following “the opposite of love isn’t hate, it is indifference”. The truth is on May 28, 2011 as on August 4, 2006 whether bin laden was dead or alive, my husband wasn’t there to walk his daughters down the aisle.
7. Have you ever read the names on September 11? I have been invited to participate in the name reading each year. The one day of the year I don’t visit the WTC site is September 11. I don’t think I can handle the grief of all of those people.
General information questions:
1. What do you think about the conspiracy theories? I think when the unimaginable happens one of the ways we try to explain it is with conspiracy theories. Popular Mechanics had a great article a few years back that debunked many of the theories.
2. What do you think about the mosque and where was it going to be built? I believe if we stop a mosque from being built this week, next week we will stop allowing Protestant churches and then the week after Catholic churches and then Jewish synagogues. There is freedom of religion in the US and that is freedom for all religions. I will add “that all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial.”
3. What do you think about the government in relation to September 11? One of the things I remember my dad saying after September 11 was” the first job of a government is to protect its people.” I believe that the government let us down but I am hopefully that the “alphabet agencies” are talking to each other. I am proud to be an American. I support those who serve our nation in the military and foreign service.
There is one question that always surprises me when it is asked. It has made me wonder if I have told the story in a way students can understand. But then I realized even hearing all of the facts the one thing that is impossible to comprehend is hating someone so much that you would kill yourself.
“What happened to the terrorists that hijacked the plane? Did we capture them? Are they in prison?”
Now I actually find comfort in that question because it means the chid asking can’t comprehend that kind of hate.