by Lakesha Gadson
A memorable day like September 11, 2001 is one that will live forever in the minds of not only those directly affected but also America as a nation. This was one of those days in history where everyone knew where they were, what they were doing, and how they felt. It is hard to imagine anything outweighing the tragic events of this day, but for Christine Pisera Naman, she will remember it for very special reasons. She was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania giving birth to her son, Trevor.
Through the tragic events of the day, miracles were still happening all over the country. These miracles were the babies born on 9/11/01. This inspired Christine to write the book Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11. By conducting a simple Internet search, she was able to get the birth announcements and contact the families. Faces of Hope shares the story of 50 children who represent hope in the midst of such a devastating time in the history of this nation.
Christine’s new book, Faces of Hope 10 Years Later, is the sequel to the original Faces of Hope highlighting the same 50 babies, all approaching their 10th birthday. While Christine has not been able to meet all the children in her book, she was able to gather 27 of the families in New York City for a reunion when the children were two years old. To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, these families will have another reunion to celebrate the children and educate them about the events of that day.
The first activity for this second reunion will commence on Tuesday, September 6th. The families will go on a site-seeing cruise to learn about New York City. The morning of the 7th, they will visit the World Trade Center Memorial on a tribute tour to learn about the actual events of 9/11. The families hope to honor this day while educating their children who are just realizing the historical meaning of their birthday.
A commonality among the families is their efforts to respect this day as well as provide a joyous celebration for the lives of their children. Christine states, “We celebrate and we have a birthday party, and we do everything that you would do on a birthday. But I also make sure that there is some part of the day that we take a few moments of quiet to talk about what happened on 9/11, how other people were affected and what they might be feeling.” Christine hopes these conversations provide a bit of inspiration for her son and result in his desire to do good deeds in his life.
Trevor responds to the fact that his birthday is on a day everyone remembers as a sad day just like other kids on their birthday. Christine accounts, "It’s one of those things when you grow up with something that’s always a fact in your life; I think that you just ease into it and you just deal with it naturally.”
She continues, “He kind of knows how we handle it. I think it is part of the reason we are doing the get together with the kids at 10; they’re finally able to realize both sides of the day.” These children, 10 years later, are able to better articulate how this day affects them through their words and their drawings.
Faith is another commonality among the families as these events and raising the children of 9/11 has made their faith stronger. Many of the families have expressed that having a child on such a tragic day helped them to become stronger in what they believed and be grateful for their blessings. Christine puts it simply as she says, “Life is precious. God is always there and He is always good.”
Christine dedicates Faces of Hope 10 Years Later to the memory of Christine Taylor Green, also born on September 11, 2001, and who was the youngest person killed in the Arizona shootings on January 8, 2011 that critically injured Congresswoman Kathy Gifford. “We are going to make sure that Christina is close to our hearts and our minds,” states Christine. To honor Taylor’s memory, Christine will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book to the Christina Taylor Green Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships allowing Southern Arizona girls to participate in political leadership programs.
You can read more about the children born on 9/11 in Christine's newest book, Faces of Hope 10 Years Later.
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