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Name: Sharon Bono
Age: 42
Hometown: Williamsburg, Va.

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I went into labor with my daughter on 9/11/01. The hospital staff refused to let me watch TV.

My daughter, Savannah Grace, was born with a congenital heart defect, and was transported to a children’s hospital hours away. Her survival chances were rated at less than 5%, but I knew in my heart that she would make it. I knew the Lord had welcomed home too many people that day, and there just wouldn't be room for her.

I had lost four children over a ten year period of trying to conceive. I look at my daughter daily and still weep for the families that lost loved ones that day! That day will always bring tremendous feelings of sorrow that I will never be able to express to anyone. My heart aches for the families, but I am able to rejoice in the life of my daughter.

Her middle name is Grace, because she is here by the Grace of God. I thank the Lord everyday that she is here, and pray for all people who were affected by the events of September 11, 2001. My life will never be the same. God bless America.

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Name: Monica Hall
Age: 41
Hometown: Palmyra, Wisc.

My son, Jason's birthday is on 9/11. He turned 9 that year.

Birthdays were always big celebration days of happiness and joy because he has severe Hydrocephalus and has endured 9 surgeries (4 of them on the brain) in his first ten years of life. His birthday and the fact he is still with us is a miracle to celebrate!

Yet it is all but impossible to do that on a day, every year, when you can actually "feel" the atmosphere of pain, sadness, anger and mourning throughout an entire country.

It is difficult. I, too, am grieving with the rest of the nation while at the same time trying to give a boy a normal birthday on a day that will never be normal. Even the television is a constant, often graphic reminder of the trauma we all went through. We keep the TV off on 9/11.

Personally, it reminds me of Jackie Kennedy throwing a party for John-John in the midst of her husband's funeral preparations.

As a Mom, you have to do some hard things in the midst of sorrow to teach them there is still a reason to celebrate their own life and that it is OK to do so. It may sound selfish and petty to some, and that is another issue we have to process. Bbut it is our reality of how 9/11 has affected our family.

***

Name: Chandra Wrzesinski|
Age: 31
Hometown: Onalaska, Wash.

During the attack on September 11, 2001, I told several nurses to TURN OFF THE TV. Specifically I said something like, "Unless a plane flies into this hospital, I don't need to hear about it right now."

I didn't want the beautiful occasion of bringing a life into the world to be overshadowed by the hatred and devastation of the attack.

On September 11, 2001 at 7:56am, Brittany Montana was born as a reminder that even when terrible things are happening in the world, new life brings us hope and positive expectation for what the future holds.

***

Name: Gregg Giddish
Age: 42 on 9/11/07
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.

It WAS my birthday. Now when I have to tell someone my birthday I get a reply along the lines of: "Oh, that’s awful."

Since 2001 I take off 9-11 to get away from the Media, etc and enjoy the day by myself. I will be taking my birthday off again. I plan on being alone, on a boat enjoying my birthday.

PS: My dad's birthday is Dec 7th. Pearl Harbor day.  Nice, huh?

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