General Question

girlofscience's avatar

What is the appropriate way to handle a birthday on September 11?

Asked by girlofscience (7553points) September 11th, 2008

If your birthday is September 11, is it now inappropriate to act in the jolly way you would if your birthday were any other day? (This is supposing you are the type who is excited and goofy on your birthday, not the doom-and-gloom birthday type.)

What if your friend/coworker’s birthday is September 11? If, under normal circumstances, you would have done something like decorate their cubicle, bring in a cake, or do something else celebratory, is it still appropriate to do so if the birthday is on September 11?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

Mulot's avatar

What happened on September 11 ?

damien's avatar


I think it’s still appropriate to celebrate their birthday as if it were any other day.

waterskier2007's avatar

deal with it. its just like a normal day so dont take out the fact that something bad happened on whoevers birthday it is. it would suck for them knowing that it happened. and so do anything u can to not remind them of it

SuperMouse's avatar

I don’t think there is anything wrong with celebrating your birthday, even if it falls on September 11th. I do think it is appropriate to stop and take a moment of reflection/prayer/remembrance of the events of the day.

Mulot's avatar

@damien: Er, Dude, I was kinda kidding, who hadn’t his ears and mind bored by all the news and emotional stuffs about this day. And also that the “American patriotism” is sometimes hard for to understand, considering a lot of facts on this big weird day.

But about the topic, I don’t why you shouldn’t enjoy this day for a birthday, if you were so upset by people death, so there won’t be any day to have a birthday.

Magnus's avatar

WTC cake!!

charliecompany34's avatar

you can’t help but celebrate if you were born before the historic date. i mean, who knew? but since it falls on 9/11, just celebrate as you normally would if you are not immediately connected to it via family member or friends. if you are, say a prayer, reminisce or even raise a glass if you are so inclined. learn to move on and thank God for your life and good health. it’s a blessing.

gooch's avatar

It okay to celebrate it people celebrate on Dec. 7th. I have a daughter who was born on the same day as her great grand mother. Her great grand mother passed away a few years ago. Her grand mother and great aunts each year still get together and mourn their mothers birthday which makes my daughter so depressed each year. My daughter hates her birthday and crys every year. This is horrible people need to remember I agree, but we need to celebrate life not mourn death at the expense of the living.

MacBean's avatar

The person was still born on that day. You’re still glad that they’re around. They still deserve a little celebration if they want it. It’s not their fault or yours that bad crap happened on that day one year. My grandmother died on my father’s 40th birthday. There’s always a little undercurrent of sadness because we miss her, but it doesn’t stop us from celebrating the person who’s still here.

cak's avatar

I just wished a friend a very happy birthday and told her to celebrate her day. Something terrible, something tragic happened. We remember and we will never forget; however, wouldn’t be a sad thing if we all stopped moving forward? If we did that, wouldn’t they win? Remember those that were lost and celebrate them, but don’t forget to celebrate those that are with us now.

jjd2006's avatar

Mulot – I don’t think that’s something to kid about.

And I agree with most of what’s been said, it’s important to remember/reflect/respect the memory and the loss, but one of the greatest memorials to those who were lost is to celebrate the life and to live well.

Mr_M's avatar

I am from NY and had a very personal involvement with 9/11.

For a LONG TIME after 9/11, the city’s entertainment industry (including Broadway plays, dining and hotels, not to mention airlines) lost money, a LOT of money, because people were afraid.

The mayor and other public officials (and entertainers) did EVERYTHING they could to bring back the crowds. Robert Deniro created the Trifecta Film Festival for the purpose of boosting up activities in the city.

The mantra was that the terrorists WANTED to disrupt the lives of Americans. By not moving on and enjoying life “as usual”, we are playing right into the terrorist’s repulsive hands.

I hope this answers your question.

Remember the 9/11 heroes ALWAYS.

PeterM's avatar

The person should sit in shame in a darkened room, apologizing to everyone for being born on this holy day. Then the guests should pelt him or her with stones, chanting ”9/11!” ”9/11!” ”9/11!” until their voices give out.

Then everyone can sit down and have a good cry.

Damn. When did Americans become such wimps? How did one day manage to turn America from the beacon of freedom for the world into a torturing, privacy-violating, Constitution-shredding bunch of idiots who will apparently do anything as long as the magic words “9/11” are invoked?

9/11 was bad, yes. But it wasn’t as if New York City was nuked, or something. Thousands died, not tens or hundreds of thousands. Does that mean it wasn’t bad? Hell no! But other nations have suffered far worse calamities without making such a damned fetish out of it.

It’s a birthday party. Have a piece of cake, sing, give some presents. Lighten up!

Response moderated
EmpressPixie's avatar

Have a cake, merry-make as usual. It is not the fault of the birthday person that something bad happened on their day and they should not be punished for it. If they are sensitive about it, they can celebrate on the nearest weekend night (which my friends would do anyway—most of us have early jobs).

PeterM's avatar

I thought the Fluther moderators had more of a sense of humor than that. Apparently I was wrong.

Live and learn.

Seesul's avatar

The cake comment was inappropriate as well, epecially for those of us who lost friends in the tower that day.

Gooch, how sad. We had the opposite reaction in our family when my son was born on his great aunt’s birthday. We all took it as a good omen, that she is watching over him somehow. We always celebrated her birthday with her and missed doing that when she was gone, so now the party goes on, so to speak and we celebrate her life as well.

I think that most, if not all of the people lost in the towers would want celebrations such as birthdays to go on as well, and so they should. I think cak put it very well.

cak's avatar

@Seesul, thank you. :)

Mr_M's avatar

@PeterM, it’s good it was removed by the moderators…you should have seen how I was going to respond.

PeterM's avatar

Don’t hold back, Mr_M! I’m leaving Fluther anyway.

AstroChuck's avatar

As you would handle any birthday regardless of the date, whether it’s on Sept. 11, April 20, or Dec. 7.

Allie's avatar

Celebrate the birthday like you would have celebrated it in 2000 or before. Let’s party like it’s 1999! Way cheesy.. sorry.

AC: You go all out for an April 20th birthday. :P

kevbo's avatar

As they say… life is for the living.

loser's avatar


AstroChuck's avatar

I meant 4/20 as in the anniversary of Columbine, not as peterhepothead’s favorite day.

stratman37's avatar

AC, I didn’t know that about Columbine and 4/20!

Mr_M's avatar

@astro, add to the list April 16th, Virginia Tech.

scamp's avatar

We “pulled the plug’ on my brother on his son’s 21st birthday. We still celebrate the birthday and mourn my brother. It is possible to do both.

loser's avatar

@scamp: I’m so sorry, but good for you!

Allie's avatar

stratman: I didn’t know that either.

AstroChuck's avatar

T’was Hitler’s birthday, as well. That’s why they shot up the school on that date.

Seesul's avatar

Just because something exists, does not make it appropriate or not offensive.

MacBean's avatar

I didn’t say it was appropriate or not offensive. I mean, it was found on a site called “Cake Wrecks.”

scamp's avatar

Thanks loser. We talked about it with the son first, and he actually made the final decison. We’d thought about waiting until the next day, so he wouldn’t remember his birthday as the day his Dad died, but he said he didn’t want him to “linger that way” any longer than he needed to. Of course no one felt much like celebrating on that paticular day tho. We postponed the birthday celebration until after the funeral the first year. He’s a remarkable kid.

Knotmyday's avatar

I’d bake a cake, and get some really good ice cream. Don’t let a good birthday go to waste.

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

I would treat it like any other birthday. It’s not the person’s fault they have to share their birthday with a national tragedy, just like it’s not a person’s fault they share Hitler’s birthday.

Jeruba's avatar

Every day is actually unique. The calendar is a human invention, and the “recurrence” of certain dates is nothing but a consequence of our system of counting revolutions of the earth around the sun. It is good to have remembrances, celebrations, and rituals memorializing anniversaries and special passages of time, but the day of those attacks does not really come again. That’s an imaginary construct. Every day is the anniversary of some horror somewhere. We should remember major events anytime and not just at certain times, and we should not let accidents of the calendar deter us from celebrating whenever and whatever it’s appropriate to celebrate.

MissA's avatar

Yes. What SHE (@Jeruba) said!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther