Children draw to express emotions following attacks

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2001

When second-grader John Marlin of Ennis, Tex., drew a picture about the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, he did not show the people falling down from the towers. He drew them floating up, on angels' wings.

Others drew tears, or dark confusion, or a bright sunny day. Kids in different places dipped their hands in red and blue paint and made big American flags on canvases of white.

Children everywhere put crayon or marker to paper to capture their feelings about Sept. 11, just as many counselors, parents, teachers and first lady Laura Bush said they should to help them cope with the worst terrorist attacks in American history.

A lot of the children's artwork has been sent to the places where the hijacked planes killed so many people and caused so much destruction. For example, people who work at the Pentagon, outside Washington, D.C., have gratefully hung up kids' pictures in the hallways.

Children used their drawings to thank rescue workers, express their love for America and its flag, and to say, ''I am sorry for our country'' in many different ways.


John Marlin, 6, a first grade student at Bowie Elementary School in Ennis, Texas, made this drawing of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. When hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, children around the country put crayon and marker to paper to express their fears, grief and feelings about being an American.

AP Photo

''Young children need to do something to express their grief, even though they may not really understand all that has happened,'' says the National Association of School Psychologists.

''Drawings -- to hang up in the school hallway, to send to the firemen and policemen who helped victims, to send to schoolchildren in the disaster areas -- are an excellent way for young children to express and share their feelings.''

Photographers from The Associated Press visited schools around the country and took pictures of the art.

For some children, a picture was worth a thousand words of confusion, sorrow or fear.

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