What happened on September 11th is hard for most adults to deal with and comprehend. This act of terrorism was not expected and shocked America and surrounding countries. If you think that this was a difficult thing for adults to handle, try to imagine what the children were feeling.
On September 11th I came home from school shocked and numb. I found my little cousin, who's three and a half sitting at kitchen table with my aunt watching the television. They were watching the planes hit the buildings. The same footage over and over. My little cousin thought it was "awesome". I didn't know what to say. You can't get angry with him. He doesn't even really understand what has happened. My aunt was crying and he was very confused. I was so frustrated that I didn't know what to say or do so I went downstairs to my room.
A couple of hours later, my little cousin came in and asked me to explain what had happened. I had overheard him asking his father earlier who simply replied "Some bastards bombed the U.S. This means war." I was not satisfied with this answer for my cousin so I knew I'd have to think of a way to explain it.
I started by telling him "what happened today was a very bad thing. A lot of people were hurt and a lot of people died. Another country was very upset with the U.S. and that is why they did this. Those people are in big trouble now. Violence is not the way to solve a problem, it just leads to more violence." I didn't know what else to say to him.
You have to be very careful of what you say to children because they take everything that you say so seriously. I think that as far as children go, they should be told the truth about what happened, but not in any graphic detail. It's important that you don't lie to them, but you shouldn't scare them either.