What are they teaching you people?


Yesterday I was talking to my boys about the book I had just finished, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. (Great book, btw, highly recommend.) They asked me what it was about, so I said that it was about a bunch of people in New York City around the time that a guy walked between the World Trade Center Towers.

Philippe Petit walked between the towers in August of 1974. He crossed back and forth six to eight times during a span of forty minutes. His story is told in the film Man on Wire.



I thought this feat was totally amazing, but my kids just stared back at me blankly.

“You know the World Trade Center?”


The two towers that were destroyed on September 11th?


Not a bell rung there. Kind of reminded me of one time when I mentioned Jim Jones to my sister, who was born in 1971, and she had never heard of him either. She said that she would have been watching the Banana Splits in 1978, and she seriously doubted that they would have interrupted that programming to bring news of a mass murder/suicide to their audience.

I realize that my kids are young; Edison was only a year old when the towers fell, and I can remember him toddling around us as we watched the TV and wept for (among many things) his future. But I would think that in all the flag waving and patriotism we get every year around September 11th, there would be some discussion of why we remember that day. Shouldn’t there be?

I do know one thing: Next September, when we commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11th, there will be some discussion around this house.