Sep 09, 2011

September 11 – Bittersweet Celebrations for My Family

By: Amy Atlas, in Amy's Latest

Zachary eating cake for first time on his 1st birthday.

The ten year anniversary for September 11 is this Sunday.  As I mentioned earlier this week, it is so hard to believe that it is 10 years since that tragic day.

September 11th is always bittersweet for my family.  I can still remember my husband and I looking at each other on the eve of September 10th when I was in labor.  We were thinking the very same thing.  Our son would be born on September 11th.  It was only 3 years earlier when the planes struck the Word Trade Center, just a few miles from our home.  We looked at each other with comfort.  Several months prior to going in labor, we had already decided we were going to name our son Zachary {Zachor}, which in Hebrew means “to remember”.  We were specifically naming our first baby to give honor and “to remember” my father-in-law’s entire family, who perished in the concentration camps in Poland.  It was hard to name Zachary after any one person, given that Zachary’s paternal grandfather lost all his siblings, parents, aunts and uncles from one horrific event.  We wanted to honor and “to remember” all of them.  The name Zachary seemed so appropriate.

So when we realized on that eve I was in labor that our Zachary was going to be born on September 11th, it seemed even more poignant that he would be getting that name.  We had also known people who perished on September 11th, and our baby’s name would now carry even more meaning.  It just so happens that our now big guy is completely an old soul and somehow I can’t help but think there is a reason for that.

Every September 11th is somewhat bittersweet for us.  On one hand, we’re celebrating our son’s birthday.  It is a time of happiness and innocence for him.  On another hand, we’re remembering. At some point this weekend, we’ll go downtown with both of our kids to remember and honor the people who lost their lives that date.  Zach has known about what happened on both September 11 and in Poland for about a year now, and we think it is important that he knows about those events.  The rest of the weekend will be focused on cake, laughter, and cherishing new beginnings.  It will be bittersweet.

My big guy now (in the red shirt sitting back to us) just yesterday at his desk for first day in first grade…


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