9-11 Birthdays: Finding Hope on a Somber Day

9-11 Birthdays: Finding Hope on a Somber Day

For those who were born on 9/11, finding the line between remembering and celebrating can be difficult.

Ellie Gavin, Staff Writer

When most people think of their birthday, they think of parties, presents, and one day a year that they get to be just a little self-centered and take some time to celebrate themselves and life itself. But for some, their special day falls on one of the most somber days in America: September Eleventh.

Emma Rhoads, a Staples junior was celebrating her fifth birthday the day of the attacks. Even at a young age, when she couldn’t fully understand what had happened, Rhoads remembers the day clearly.

“After the attack happened in the morning, many of the teachers started crying and none of us (in my class) could understand what was wrong. My mom was on the phone all day talking to my dad, who saw the whole thing through his office window,” Said Rhoades. “My family and I still celebrated that day, but it was a little different than usual… It was obvious they were trying really hard to make things fun despite what had happened that day.”

Rhoads is not alone. Many people in the community were affected, including an anonymous friend of the Rhoades family. The young girl, who was born on September eleventh 2001, lost her aunt and uncle in the attacks. She now celebrates her birthday on the following day instead.

Many Americans face this same sad predicament. Dahlia Gruen was celebrating her tenth birthday the day of the attacks. In attempt to cope with her situation as well as reach out to people facing the same thing, she created an inspiration website called birthdayspirit.org.

In an interview with USAToday, Gruen said, “We wanted to reclaim Sept. 11, and not overlook what happened, but to remember the good that was born on this day too.”

The website contains inspiring messages about good deeds done in honor of the victims as well as advice on how to respectfully celebrate the day.

The website encourages a positive outlook. An anonymous poster writes, “the way I see it is this: something wonderful is happening on this tragic anniversary, and America needs that.”