Transcripts

Celebrating a 9/11 Birthday

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
Ten years after 9/11, the date still hangs heavy. But what if that date is also the day you were born. Emily Friedman spoke with local residents about what it's like to celebrate your special day on a now rather solemn anniversary.

MR. SAM GREENSPAN

00:00:29
For people that I know, well, you know, I'll make some comment about, like, my birthday's coming up. And then they'll say, when's your birthday again? And then I'll say, come on, when's my birthday? And then they'll say, oh, right, right, 9/11. And there's this aftereffect of, like, and it's 9/11.

MR. SAM GREENSPAN

00:00:44
Hi, my name is Sam Greenspan. My birthday is September 11, 1985. The following year, my 17th birthday, September 11, 2002, I must've been complaining about the fact that I never got any birthday festivities or balloons or cupcakes or anything on my birthday and the only thing I ever got was like a terrorist attack the previous year.

MR. SAM GREENSPAN

00:01:07
So my friend, Tyler, hearing me whine about this on my 17th birthday, he brought in a single red balloon that he had taken a Sharpie and had written, Have a Happy Day, in block letters around it. And when he was crossing the street and an administrator saw him and, like, thought he was being a smart aleck. He took out his pen and, like, popped the balloon.

MR. SAM GREENSPAN

00:01:30
So what I got from Tyler was a deflated red balloon that you could sort of read, that said Have a Happy Day on it in like smudged block lettering. For me, it was a crappy day and for some people, it was like a really terrible earth-shattering day, because someone could easily say, like, well you think you had a bad day. I mean, what about this person?

MS. KALISHA HOLMES

00:01:55
I mean, the one thing about having a birthday on September 11 is nobody forgets your birthday. I'm, like, it's September 11 and they have some emotional reaction and then they're like okay. They always remember. My name is Kalisha Holmes (sp?) and I was born on September 11, 1990. On September 11, 2001, I was 11 years old, 7th grade, I believe.

MS. KALISHA HOLMES

00:02:16
When my mom gave me my cake and my dinner, we turned off the TV and it was, like, this is your birthday for whatever amount of time and then after that, we turned it back on. It's hard to celebrate at the same time that you're mourning the loss of so many lives. And for whatever reason, I was born on this day and for whatever reason, on the same day, something horrible happened, but it's not my place to say I would change it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 1

00:02:44
As older folks, I remember that day vividly, but for him, it's still just another day. He was in a daycare and he wasn't -- how old were you? Probably about four, between three and four?

ERIC

00:03:01
Yes. I just tell them my birthday's on September 11 and sometimes they get a reaction. I couldn't really remember what happened because I was still a little child when it happened.

1

00:03:12
Yes, I haven't really discussed everything about that day as far as what happened with Eric. So basically what he knows is what he hears or sees on the news or hears from other people. I hadn't really had a discussion with him about it because I don't want him to think of his birthday as being a sad day.

ERIC

00:03:34
I got to put that all aside so I can still have fun on my birthday and not be sad or anything.

1

00:03:40
It was in high school when we was learning U.S. history. I found out that D-Day was on my birthday. I'm, like, wow. I didn't know that something that significant occurred on my birthday. It will be interesting to see in 30 years what people know or think about September 11.

SHEIR

00:04:02
Do you or someone you know have a birthday on September 11? If so, send us an email. Our address is metro@wamu.org and special thanks to the band, Hudson Branch, for their original music in this story.
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