Programs about 9/11 to give kids a voice
An onslaught of television specials over the years have featured everything from the recollections of then-president George W. Bush to how dogs helped victims recover from the attacks, but for the first time, children are being given a voice.
"It's a story that is not often heard - 9/11 from a child's perspective. It tends to have been overlooked," Janice Sutherland told Reuters. Sutherland is the producer of "Children of 9/11," a program that will air on NBC on Sept. 5, that follows a year in the lives of 11 kids who lost parents in that attacks on New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Sutherland said she had become accustomed to hearing adults talk about losing their children, but not the other way around. Most of the kids felt a sense of responsibility for the remaining parent, and a fear of what would happen if they lost them.
Another program, Nickelodeon's "What Happened? The story of September 11, 2001," will help lay out the facts for kids who don't have a first-hand perspective on what happened.
The program was inspired partially by the misinformation and confusion surrounding the events of Sept. 11, Nickelodeon's Linda Ellerbee said.
"I believe we needed to put together a show explaining in simple clear terms just what happened on that day, what happened next and how people felt about what happened," Ellerbee said. "Ignorance is not bliss; ignorance is dangerous."
A study carried out for Nickelodeon revealed 92 percent of kids as young as 8-11 are aware of the importance of 9/11, but what they think they know is sometimes wildly at odds with what really happened.
One child thought that on that day, 500 planes disappeared into the air. Another thought the hijackers were Japanese. The program does not include footage of the hijacked planes running into the buildings.
"What Happened? The story of September 11, 2001" airs Sept. 1 on Nickelodeon.