Yesterday, I was out with my 14 year old boy, who is a freshman at a local Catholic HS. Over a slice of NY Style Pizza, I asked him if he was worried about terrorism.
In his typical one word style he said, "no". He has never shown any interest in the news.
I told him that when I was growing up near NYC, I was afraid of the Russians.
One word "why?"
I explained that they had nukes pointed at our biggest cities and NYC was a primary target. I told him that we had air raid drills at our elementary school. I explained that they were like fire drills except we didn't go outside. We went into the hallway and sat down against the wall and put our heads down.
I told him that I had trouble sleeping at night thinking about those evil Russians. And I explained that it is OK to be concerned about terrorism and if he wanted to talk about it to just let me know.
He looked around and around. He glanced up at the TV. Fox news was on with a breaking story about an avalanche in Colorado. The he looked back at me and he said, "Parmesan Cheese?"
Well two words. That's a start.
My son sleeps like a champ. He lives in a cocoon.
You'd think that this generation would be over informed, not under informed. Then it hit me. I watched the news every night as a young kid. The local NYC CBS News with Jim Jensen followed by the national news with Walter Cronkite. I watch it because it was the only thing on TV around dinner time and that's what my parents watched. In the 1970's there were 4 channels not 500 and three of the four carried the news. I'm sure I would have skipped the depressing news (murder, fire, terror, sports and weather day after day) if we had an extra TV with sports and cartoons on 24/7.
Anyway, my conversation inspired me to watch the movie United 93 this morning from 6am to 8am. I still have trouble sleeping. We received the movie for free as part of a fundraising campaign before the last election. I have thought about watching it several times over the last 2 months, but could not bring myself to watch it until this morning. It was powerful.
I know all that there are theories that the United 93 was shot down by F16s, but I prefer the American Hero story theory depicted in this film. Regardless of which theory you think is true, I am not sure how this story (and all 9/11 stories) have not galvanized the right and left to work together. How can Murtha, Pelosi, Ms. Clinton, John Kerry, Harry Reid and the bloated Teddy put their own quest for power and money ahead of a united stance.
But the question I am asking here is; How do you teach your conservative kids and liberal minded kids about terrorism?
Radical Islam is teaching hate in their primary schools. They teach their young to hate Jews and all other religions. To hate Americans. Then it gets even crazier. They teach them to hate the other Muslims that do not follow their particular brand of radical Islam. They teach them to revere martyrs. Glenn Beck had a disturbing story about this on his TV show.
We should not teach our kids to hate, but we should make sure that they are aware that their world is dangerous and is changing. Right? I think that my 14 year old is old enough to watch United 93, so I am going to ask him to watch it with me. Ignorance is not always bliss.
Oh got to go. My son needs to get on the computer to watch some silly videos on YouTube.