(CBS 8) - How do you tell your young children about 9/11? News 8's Steve Price decided to do it by taking his family to ground zero to talk with victims. He documented their trip with his hand-held camera, and shared his experience with us.
When Julie Roth saw my kids, five-year-old Alexa, 12-year-old Ashley and nine-year-old Aaron, she adjusted our tour of ground zero to leave out the gruesome parts. They weren't needed. Julie's emotional connection to 9/11 was far more powerful.
Julie, a teacher at the time, was summoned out of class by her principal to take a call from her mother-in-law.
"'Brian's on a hijacked airplane' and I said, 'What?' I said 'What does that even mean?'" she said.
Her husband Brian Sweeney was on United Flight 175, the second plane to hit the Twin Towers.
Julie has a voicemail Brian left on their home answering machine after the hijackers took control of the plane.
"'Hey Jules.. It's Brian.' Very calm, very peaceful, 'I'm on an airplane that's been hijacked. If things don't go well, and it's not looking good, I want you to know I absolutely love you. I want you to do good, have good times. Same to my family and everybody and I just totally love you. And I'll see you when you get here. Bye babe,'" she said.
Julie leads tours three times a month through the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center. All of the guides have a personal connection to what happened on 9/11.
Not only did we learn new details about 9/11, but we also saw firsthand construction on the 16-acre site.
My decision to bring my children here, wasn't an easy one, but in the end it was the right thing to do. While I'm pretty sure my five-year-old won't remember much from the tour, it definitely had an impact on the older ones.
There is still a lot of work to be done on the site, but you can also feel the excitement of what's to come. So I look forward to bringing my family back in a few years for what's sure to be another educational and emotional journey.