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Billy HallowellSep 10, 2019 12:00:00 AM6 min read

How to Help Your Children Observe the 9/11 Anniversary

With the 18th Anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks upon us, millions of Americans will be reflecting, praying and remembering the horror that unfolded nearly two decades ago. 

And as those who lived through the tragic event remember the lives lost, many parents will struggle with how to explain 9/11 to a child. After all, it’s difficult to address the deaths of 2,977 people, as well as the images that will surely play out in the media.

Plus, there are the many questions that come along with terrorism, pain and other related themes. Fortunately, there are some productive ways to handle explaining 9/11 to children. 

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Here are some tips for not only explaining the event, but also handling it in a spiritual manner:

9/11 for Kids: Offer a Healthy Explainer

As you consider how to explain 9/11 to a child, consider finding ways to offer an age-appropriate explanation of what unfolded. Approaching September 11 for kids can sometimes best be done through sensitive books that explain what unfolded through storytelling.

Barnes & Noble put out a list a few years back, and some of the books are for the 9+ age range. Perhaps it’s best to avoid 9/11 facts for kids below 9, and to instead introduce them to the Twin Towers through other means. For instance, “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers” takes a different approach to introducing kids to the Twin Towers — through the story of a man who tightroped between the buildings decades before the attack. 

How to approach 9/11 facts for kids is a decision for parents to make, though there are a number of books that also explain in more detail what unfolded. If you have older kids, you can also watch titles like “Between Heaven & Ground Zero” and “Heroes Among Us, Miracles Around Us” to learn more about 9/11 and be inspired.

Praying About September 11 for Kids

No matter how much detail parents choose to go into, prayer is a powerful tool for remembering the events of 9/11. Parents can sit down with their kids and explain the importance of forgiveness, the existence of pain or, at the very least, pray for the injured and their loved ones.

9/11 Facts For Kids

In addition to 9/11 facts for kids, one of the best ways to explore how to explain 9/11 to a child is to engage in prayer. Despite nearly two decades passing since the event, many first responders are still falling ill — and the loved ones of those lost are still suffering. 

Asking God to comfort and heal these people is a powerful way to demonstrate the power of prayer while addressing 9/11 for kids.

READ ALSO: How to Ask God for Forgiveness and Learn to Forgive Others

Here is an example of a 9/11 prayer to potentially be uttered:

Dear Lord, please continue to be with the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, friends and family of those who were impacted by the September 11 attacks. Please continue to provide Your comfort and healing power to those who desperately need it. We also pray for our nation’s leaders who continue to grapple with a post-9/11 world. We ask for wisdom and grace for those in power, and please protect our country. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

September 11 for Kids: Serve and Help Others

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government created a national day of service as an effort to remember the horror that unfolded. Perhaps you’ll choose not to go into great detail when it comes to 9/11 facts for kids — or maybe you will. 

No matter how you explain 9/11 to your kids, an act of service is a wonderful way to put a positive spin on what unfolded. The U.S government notes the following in detailing the National Day of Service: “The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts, originally launched in 2002, to encourage volunteering on 9/11 as a tribute to victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.”

So, consider looking for simple ways to remember September 11 for kids by volunteering in your local community. There’s no shortage of ways you can help others and teach your kids the power of community.

Share Powerful Bible Verses With Your Kids

As you consider how to explain 9/11 to a child, scripture is key. So many issues flow out of the 9/11 terror attacks. From forgiveness to advice on overcoming pain, there’s no shortage of ways to address September 11 for kids.

So, let’s explore some potential verses you could read with your children to help them learn and grow. These verses teach powerful life lessons independent of the 9/11 attacks. But paired with September 11, they provide insight through an applicable situation:

Bible Verses Dealing With Hatred

“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” - 1 John 1:6 (NIV)

“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse.” - Proverbs 2:12 (NIV)

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” - Romans 12:20 (NIV)

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” - Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)

Dealing With Forgiveness

Bible Verses Dealing With Forgiveness

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” - Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” - Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” - Mark 11:25 (NIV)

READ ALSO: 38 Powerful Bible Verses For Overcoming Life’s Struggles

Bible Verses About Healing and Strength

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28 (NIV)

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” - 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” - John 14:27 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 (NIV)

That wraps our September 11 for kids advice list. If you’re looking for more inspiration and guidance, consider grabbing a free, one-month subscription. You’ll have access to thousands of kid and family-friendly movies, TV shows and original programs — fun for the whole family.


Billy Hallowell

Billy Hallowell has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite and on, among other outlets. Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.