On 9-11 my first grandaughter had just celebrated her second birthday. Evelyn was named after my mother who had survived the Great Depression,
World War II and the ups and downs of the post-war economy while raising five children as a full-time mom, which today is nearly impossible.
Her namesake, at age 2, was already acknowleged by our family as being extremely bright, observant and interested in everything. She was in a stroller with her mother walking in her Brooklyn neighborhood close by the East River. Evelyn stood up and pointing said, “Big Fire”. She was pointing to the World Trade Center. Tower One was on fire, with smoke billowing into the blue sky of a perfect early fall day. Moving closer down to the small park at the riverside, people started collecting, mouths agape, mostly in silence except for several who were heard to say, “my husband” or “my son” or “daughter” or “friend works there”. They watched as the first Tower fell, shocked and silent.
It makes me think that Evelyn’s world changed that day. She was not physically traumatized and did not lose a relative or close friend but the world she was inheriting was a different one from the one her mother, grandmother or greatgrandmother knew. Suspicion, fear, and a generalized background of insecurity is something we all live with since 9-11. I wish we could stop it, for Evelyn and all the other children growing up in this world.