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Letters: Telling a 9/11 story

September 13, 2012

Re "Explaining 9/11," Opinion, Sept. 11

Cara Mia DiMassa's concern about how much or how little she should share with her daughters about the 9/11 tragedy resonated strongly with me.

My nephew, Welles Crowther, a young stockbroker and volunteer firefighter, became known as "the man in the red bandanna" thanks to his heroism that day. My niece, his sister, has written a children's book about him, and I am grateful to have been entrusted with the illustrations. My challenge is to represent the horror and suffering without making it sensational or lurid, to focus not on individual suffering but on the selflessness in the face of the terror. Our hope is to inform and enlighten rather than induce nightmares.

My one observation to DiMassa would be that as today's children grow older, the full extent of 9/11 will inevitably infiltrate their cognizance, just as Pearl Harbor, which occurred when I was 2, entered mine.

John Crowther

Los Angeles

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