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Parents Explain War on Terror to Young Children

By: Candace Sweat Email
By: Candace Sweat Email

"I know you don't remember, and I'm glad you don't remember to be honest with you."

The Keister family looks at a baby book filled with momentous of first steps and first words.
But on one page, just above the picture of a bubbly baby girl, is a newspaper clipping of the attack on the twin towers.

It's seemingly out of place, but very much a part of this little girl's history; all accompanied by letters from a young mother who knew that some day she would have to explain the horrific events to her daughter.

"September 11th 2001 - a dark day in our country's history ... with all the terrible things going on in America, we had to decide whether to cancel you baptism ceremony."

Jennifer Keister's oldest daughter Caitlyn is now ten and the man responsible for the September 11th attacks is now dead. So how does a parent explain something as complicated as the war on terror, years before boys and peer pressure ever come up?

"Our response to her was America got the bad guy; without going too deep into it," said Keister.

Keister says she wants her children to know their history, but still preserve their innocence.

"I would never want her to feel like I did that day on September 11th," said Keister.

And part of that is making sure Caitlyn knows she is safe.

"You're safe at home, you're safe in Tallahassee, and you're safe in this Country." Keister said to her daughter.

Still, even mom and dad struggle to find all the answers.

"Why did they do it?," asked Caitlyn.

"I don't know that any of us can answer that," said Keister.


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