Hope - Ten years later

The desire to cling on to hope is universal. It spans across nationality. A national tragedy is a time when a sincere hope for a better future arises in a large section of the society. A new born being a symbol of hope, the birth of a child during a national tragedy becomes a news worthy event. I came across an interesting news article (excerpts below) about one child born on Sep 11th, 2011. It brought me an insight into how historical events could loose their importance when viewed from another generation. My belief is that the magnitude of the tragedy itself has been very well captured in videos. Is it then because one's experience of that sense of hope can not be passed on to another person through images and words?


Hope must be arising in huge numbers each day, looking at the wars being waged in the middle the civil society in many countries in the world today, only to gradually fade away over the years.



Of the 13,238 children born in the United States that Sept. 11, 2011 Greg and Nikki Montjoy's first child was among the earliest, clocking in at Mt. Carmel St. Ann's Hospital when the day was 67 minutes old. They were first-time parents, unsure of what to expect, but found it odd later that morning when no relatives visited and the staff started to seem evasive and limit the infant's time outside the nursery. Finally, a nurse urged his mother to wake her sleeping husband and turn on the television. Nikki Montjoy cradled her infant as she watched images of the smoking twin towers. The events had prompted a lockdown at the hospital, blocking the Montjoys' visitors, she said. Once allowed in, the family crowded into her room, shut off the TV and turned their attention to Xavier. "Everyone wanted to be with this baby because that's what we were all kind of clinging to, was that we had a good day," she said.

10 years later, Xavier's father, a 35-year-old unemployment insurance consultant, and mother, a 34-year-old student nurse, told him about al-Qaida, the Pentagon and New York. He wanted to know what happened to the people at ground zero. Xavier said the conversation with his parents altered his perception of his birth date, though he can't quite put it into words. "It changes, like, how I feel about my birthday," he said. "I don't know how." Images of the attacks generate flashbacks and even tears for many adults, but not for Xavier. He has no such painful memories to trigger. For him, the day just seems to be history compared with the major events of his young life.

In Ohio, Xavier's parents refuse to let it become a day of melancholy instead of merriment in their home, planning a birthday party each year. "It's a good thing for everyone," his mother said. The exception was his first birthday, when relatives traveled from out of town to attend a family-focused party on the first anniversary of the attacks. Xavier's parents asked guests to place their palms in paint and leave handprints on a basement stairwell wall, hoping it would remind their boy that even when bad things happened, there would be plenty of folks who love him and would try to make it better.
At the bottom, his mother said she printed a quote: "The hands of today mold the child of tomorrow."