Police, Firefighters, Doctors, Nurses, EMTs. These are some of the people you are taught to look up to while very young. Yet, after the events of September 11th, it seems that first responders became even more venerated than they had been before. I suppose, for my generation at least, there had yet to be something so devastating and overwhelming where first responders were the heroes. I remember being in New York in the spring of 2002, and it really stood out how much these people were appreciated. A whole city, beyond grateful for these men and women.
Many will have already read of Mr. Roger’s quote about the helpers. Here it is again:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world."
-- Mister Rogers
Lynne Jonelle’s Bravemole is a story about the helpers. An ordinary mole goes to work in the city on a beautiful day. It’s then that two terrible dragons come and destroy some of the largest molehills. They crumble. In the chaos that follows, this ordinary mole does something extraordinary. He goes back to help.
This book is good for older children who already know about September 11th. It can comfort them, as Mr. Rogers, to realize there are always helpers after something bad happens.
I would encourage you to read this for yourself before reading to your children. For one, you should make sure that it is appropriate for your child. It could be too scary for them. However, it could be very beneficial for your child to understand 9/11. You have to decide that for your own kids. Also, you have to make sure you can actually read this to them without a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes.
There were so many helpers after 9/11, many who lost their own lives. If you know any helpers, give them a hug and thank them for all of us.