Forgotten Birthdays

Gabby Holboy, Staff Writer

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September 11 is the day that no one will ever forget, but by remembering the horrors of September 11 we often neglect the people who were born on that day.Two sophomores at CIHS not only have a 9/11 birthday, but they were actually born on this infamous day in 2001. Their names are Elyse Muehlhauser and Sean Smith. Sean was born at 6:53 PM and Elyse was born around 10:50 AM, right after the World Trade Center’s North Tower collapsed.

Elyse believes that having her birthday on September 11 is “kind of a bummer” but she’s glad that her family thinks of her birthday as “something good that happened on a very sad day”. Sean says that he was around nine when he finally understood what it meant to be born on September 11. Elyse’s mom explained to her that lots of people would make jokes about Elyse’s birthday, for example, how her being born in at 9/11 made the day even more tragic. She also said that some people have asked her if she has any recollections about that day.  Seriously?

CIHS Junior Lilianne Marlton was born on 9/11 the year before the terrorist attacks. She joked that her sister once posted on Facebook “Happy Birthday to the original 9/11 tragedy.” Lili found this humorous but could see where someone could take offense to comments like that.

Elyse and Sean both have family members that were born on famous and or infamous days. Elyse’s sister Kayla is also born on a tragic day in history, Kayla was born on April 19 which is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Sean’s brother was born on Veteran’s Day and his aunt Kris was born on Columbus Day. Sean’s Grandpa to sometimes explain to them how time was different before 9/11 and how security was “weak” back then. Elyse’s family is very similar in this way, explaining that you could just walk onto an airplane with little, to no security.

Elyse explained that everyone seems to remember her birthday just because it was on the day of the tragedy, and she isn’t wrong. I’ve known Elyse for several years and I always remember her birthday because it is on September 11. Sean explained that people are intrigued by his birthday being on September 11,  and how they always ask lots of questions about his birthday. Elyse wishes that she had a birthday on a different day because having a birthday party on September 11 feels like it would be inappropriate. Elyse believes if her birthday was on another day that she would be able to celebrate her birthday easier.

There is even a website (http://birthdayspirit.org/) set up to help people born on this day of national tragedy to reclaim their birthday for good. “I think this is a really cool website which will help me connect with others who share a birthday on 9/11 and that makes me feel like I’m not alone.”


Maybe next September 11 people should take a minute to think about those whose birthday falls on this day because it’s still their birthday. Even though this is a day of a tragedy, it’s still a day of celebration for those born on this historic day.

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