Born on September 11, 2001
It's hard to forget when you first learned that you were born on the day of the worst terrorist attack in American history: September 11, 2001.world Updated: Sep 11, 2011 11:29 IST
Juliana heard about it from her brother. Marina found out during a class discussion in second grade. Arkilah saw it on TV.
It's hard to forget when you first learned that you were born on the day of the worst terrorist attack in US history: Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, 19 hijackers flew planes into two skyscrapers in New York City, hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died.
"I felt a little alone, to be honest," Julia Pariser, of Washington, said about finding out she was born on such a tragic day.
But she is not alone. There were 13,238 babies born in this country on Sept. 11, 2001. Six of those babies all from the Washington area and turning 10 on the historic date talked to KidsPost about how being born on such a significant day has affected them. All of them have mixed feelings.
"It's like, sort of hard to feel sad because it's the day that I was born, but I still do feel sad," said Juliana Bonilla, of Gaithersburg, Md.
"A lot of bad things happened on that day, but then, a lot of good things were happening on that day, too," said Arkilah Henry, of Washington.
If there's anything these kids know, it's that something wonderful can happen at the same time, or even because of, something terrible. Perhaps no one knows that better than William Faber, of South Riding, Va.
William's grandfather, a former colonel in the Army, was supposed to be at the Pentagon on the morning of Sept. 11, in the part of the building that was hit by a hijacked plane, killing 184 people. But since his grandson was due to be born, he didn't go to work that day. "He came to the hospital because of me," William said.
A lot of kids don't know much about the attacks, which are often simply called "9-11." But Aidan Shaw, of New Market, Md., said that having a Sept. 11 birthday makes him "a little more curious than my friends" about the subject. In a strange coincidence, Aidan's grandfather was born on the day of another terrible attack, on Dec. 7, 1941. That's when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing 2,402 people and bringing the United States into World War II. Back then, people said they would always remember where they were when they heard about Pearl Harbor; it's the same way for people who were alive for Sept. 11.
Several kids said they light a candle, hang a flag or say a prayer on their birthday to honor 9/11 victims, but they also focus on what's good about that day. As Julia put it, "we celebrate it as a sign of new hope."
And this year's birthday is extra special, said Michael Briscoe, of Washington. "I'm going to the double digits!"
(In exclusive partnership with The Washington Post. For more, log on to www.washingtonpost.com)
First Published: Sep 11, 2011 10:33 IST