Boy Born on 9/11 Should Not Legally Change His Birthday

On September 10, 2001, I celebrated a friend's birthday with her and had a party planned for September 12 for my other friend. But then 9/11 happened and everything changed. I remember feeling so sorry for my friends born on the 10th and 12th because no matter what, their birthdays bordered a tragic day we would all remember and grieve. But one little boy in Malden, Massachusetts had it even worse.

Patch blogger Sherri Murray talks about how her son celebrated his ninth birthday on 9/11 and how it bothered him to "celebrate" amidst such horror. The next year he wanted to legally change his birthday. And why not? People change names, homes, and appearances, among other things. Why not their birthdays, too?

And so he tried. He also failed. But in failing, he learned an important lesson. Murray said:


[The Clerk Magistrate] went on to tell my son he thought it was unlikely he'd be able to legally change his birthday, but offered to research and send his findings. He closed the meeting by giving my son a firm handshake and telling him not to let the terrorists take “his” day away, adding that his birth had brought so much joy to our family and will continue to bring joy to all who meet and love him.

One of the hardest lessons we try to teach our children is that there are some things they simply cannot change. No matter how much they would like to have things be different, some things just are the way they are.

Clearly Murray's son is a compassionate little boy whose heart is in the right place. And it's impossible to explain to any child why people do such evil and horrific things. There simply is no good explanation.

Both good and evil exist and we can't simply wish them away. He has to "celebrate" on a day many others mourn, but it doesn't take away from his life and the beauty of it. It's good he can't legally change his birthday because September 11 is a day where good things sometimes have to happen to make us be able to take the unimaginable amount of bad things that came before.

It's a hard lesson for even an adult to get, but an important one nonetheless.

Do you think he should have changed his birthday?


Image via PeterJBellis/Flickr

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