Dear Kid,

It’s September 11th. And 9/11 is a hard day for me to write about. So I thought maybe I could find some not horrible things that happened on the 11th of September.

There are a bunch of things that have happened over the years that don’t fall anywhere near the category of “horrible” which I think is worth focusing on.

In 1773, Ben Franklin wrote “There never was a good war or bad peace.” That might be the theme for September 11 and a good lesson for us all to remember.

Stephen Foster’s “Susanna” (of banjo-ed knee) was sung for the first time September 11, 1847.

1875 brought the first newspaper cartoon strip. Its decedents make getting up in the morning palatable.

In 1883, James Cutler patented the postal mail chute. How cool is that? It had never before occurred to me that someone invented and patented a mail chute. I think James was probably inspired by Oh Susanna.

In 1906 Mahatma Gandhi began using the term “Satyagraha” to describe the non-violence movement in South Africa. Ben Franklin cheered. The first moshav in Israel was settled in 1921. Mahatma cheered. In 1954, for the first time, Miss America was crowned on TV. It was Lee Meriwether and a lot of people cheered.

Make today a good day, kid. Make it a day worth cheering for (even if you only cheer silently in your head).

Love, Mom

September 11, 2001–We will never forget