April 12, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 Literacy Foundations

I promised myself I wouldn't watch any 9/11 anniversary coverage on TV this weekend. I grew up in New Jersey, within view (albeit distant) of the World Trade Center. My whole life, when you approached Manhattan, the towers reminded me of a double exclamation point at the bottom of the island.
Many of us who lived and worked in/near NYC still can't get used to the new skyline.

I remember being torn on 9/11 -- unable to turn off the TV and radio, but wanting to protect my four-year-old and 18-month-old from the images of people falling from the buildings. It's still too raw for me.

My self-imposed bubble this weekend wasn't totally selfish. I received a text this Saturday that my sister-in-law was in labor. My brother said, "How cool would it be if the baby was born on 9/10/11?" He didn't have to say the rest and my nephew came into the world at 8:50 Saturday night. I had a reason to be and stay happy.
Still waiting on a name and photos!

Which is why I got caught by surprise. I was eating lunch with my kids (now 14 and 11). I was reading Parade Magazine. I was sobbing. No warning. My kids thought I had lost my mind until I explained that nothing was "wrong." They are too young to remember that day, when everything was wrong. But they're old enough to have compassion for those of us who do.

In honor of the anniversary, I'd like to share two 9/11 foundations that promote literacy. You can find both of these organizations and others in the Parade article, "Legacies of Hope."

The Brooke Jackman Foundation has a New York area focus. Jackman was a 23-year-old biobliophile who died in the Twin Towers. The organization in her name funds literary programs and gives books to at-risk kids. You'll find an article about an anniversary read-a-thon planned by the foundation at the Examiner.

Closer to our area, the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation sponsors reading hours in libraries and writing contests for students in several Virginia schools and George Mason University. Marshall died in the Pentagon.

These foundations focus on an area of passion in the lives of the people who were killed on 9/11. We can't bring people back, but we can continue to work on the things they cared about. It's another kind of "new life." That gives me hope.


Tabatha said...

Congrats on the new nephew! I've also been somewhat avoiding the news, as every single radio report I've heard has made me cry.

Those organizations look great. Thanks for the tip.

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Tabatha. That grief response took me off guard. I felt better after I spoke to a friend -- her trigger was the 9/11 themed TV commercials shown before the NFL games. Who knew it was still so close to the surface?