Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Life's no longer so carefree for kids




By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CLARYVILLE, Ky. — Second-grader Tiffany Goins sat Monday in Dan Franzen's afternoon art class at Campbell County's Reiley Elementary School, briskly coloring the American flag she and her classmates were assigned to create.

        Tiffany had a sound understanding of at least some of last week's events.

        “Some men were mad at us and they crashed a plane in the World Trade Center,” she said, putting the finishing touches on a lopsided star.

        When asked what is going to happen because of the crash, Tiffany was as candid as President Bush has been in describing the nation's next step.

        “A war,” she quietly answered.

        The innocence of youth is yet another casualty of the horrific events that unfolded last week. Most of the first- and second-graders in Mr. Franzen's class had a basic understanding of the terrorist attacks, their knowledge gleaned from nonstop television news reports and from talking to their parents.

        “I think they've all seen at least something about it on TV or heard about it at home,” said Mr. Franzen. “And since they've all seen American flags being put up everywhere, I decided to have them make flags that we'll hang up in school.”

        Matthew Dreyer, his bright smile not diminished by the three teeth he's missing, knew that “three planes crashed into buildings and one crashed into the ground.”

        He also knew that someone “did it on purpose” but he doesn't know why or what is going to happen next.

        “It is kind of scary,” he admitted.

        Tyler Walsh, 6, said he was making a flag “for all the people who died.”

       



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- Life's no longer so carefree for kids
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