When I think back to my childhood, I don’t remember growing up in a world of violence. I don’t remember bombings or mass murder.
Maybe my parents kept me sheltered from it. If they did, I am grateful.
I had the luxury of a carefree childhood. I had the luxury of growing up without worry or fear.
The innocence of my childhood ended on September 11, 2001. I was 25 years old.
Born and raised in New York City, the World Trade Center was part of my everyday life. My aunt had a hair salon there for years. My father worked blocks away. I attended college within walking distance. (The morning the Towers collapsed, I was supposed to go down to school to buy my school books.)
I will never forget the devastation and the loss, I felt on that day. Hours glued to the news, watching, crying, wondering why.
Such acts of hateful violence and mass murder against the innocent was something that belonged to another generation. And suddenly it belonged to mine.
And in these last few years, it seems like there is no safe place for our children. Not at the movies, not in our schools and not standing by the sidelines watching a marathon.
It’s cruel that this generation of children have lost their sense of innocence. It is heartbreaking that little Martin Richard died so violently when all he wanted was people to stop hurting each other and live in peace. At 8-years-old, Martin Richard, only a year older than Norrin, already knew the world could be a horrific place.
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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.