September 11, 2001. Where were you when you first heard about the attack on the World Trade Center?
Like many of us who know exactly when they first heard about world-changing events - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and 9/11 - these events are imprinted forever in my memory.
The deaths of almost 3,000 people – from all walks of life, nationalities, religions, occupations and the lasting impact on surviving family members and friends – will never be forgotten.
A memorial planned for the site will include portraits of the victims, hear oral histories of the tragedy and view artifacts.
Where was I when I heard about the events in New York City?
In Denise Schipani's article, 10 things you should never say to your kids, she lists common phrases that parents may say to their children in the heat of the moment.
Although these comments might not sound bad, they can actually be harmful and upsetting.
- "I know you can try harder."
- "Are you sure you need that second cupcake?"
- "You always…" or "You never…"
- "Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?"
- "I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake!"
- "You’re the best at soccer!"
- "Don’t worry—the first day of school will be fine."
- "Because I said so!"
- "I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid."
- "That’s not how you do it! Here, let me."
What's interesting about the list is that no phrase is actually that bad, objectively. However, the sentiment could upset or potentially damage the child.
Parenting advice has changed over time. The old Victorian adage - "children should be seen and not heard" - is clearly no longer relevant. Our parents were brought up differently than their own parents. And the way they brought us up, and how we bring up our own children, is likely also different.
Today, September 9, is Grandparents Day in the US.
Although celebrated in various countries on different days, it is always commemorated in the US on the first Sunday after Labor Day.
Grandparents Day was established in 1978, following Marian McQuade's vision that youth should understand the importance of the contributions to society made by senior citizens.
After much lobbying by Marian, President Jimmy Carter signed the day into law on August 3, 1978, proclaiming that it should be used "...to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer."
Those of us fortunate enough to have grandparents should take the opportunity to make them feel special and loved today. It's a perfect opportunity to ask about their families, their own grandparents and their experiences growing up. It's a great way to learn more about your own family history.
Those of us who are grandparents should explain to our grandchildren about the family's origins, and share stories and information about previous generations.
In this Huffington Post article, the author describes her motivations for conducting family history research.
Both her father and grandfather keep quiet when it comes to discussing their family history and even try to lure her away from digging up the past through short references to "dark secrets and family feuds."
But like most people with curious minds and a sense of investigation, preventing her from making inquiries only makes her even more interested.
What are my motivations for investigating my own family?
For me, it's a strong desire to know who my ancestors were and where I come from, to understand my ancestors and how they lived, to use that information and apply it to the present.
What about you?
What are your motivations for researching your unique family history? Are you trying to unlock anything in particular?
Share your stories in the comments below.
It's fun asking people to whom they'd like to be related. Many people answer with a celebrity's name or someone they admire.
I asked our MyHeritage colleagues this question. Their replies included Anne Frank, French resistance fighter Jean Moulin and Albert Einstein.
To whom would you like to be related? Tell us why in the comments below.
What does it feel like to have someone look like you? If one gets hurt, does the other feel it? Do twins share their own language?
When I was younger and met a set of twins, I often thought about those things.
Biologically, of course, twins share a uterus in pregnancy, and share an egg (if identical) or are two separate eggs (if fraternal or non-identical). Brazil has the highest rate of twins worldwide.
My family contains many sets of twins, and although only 2% of pregnancies result in twins, it's not out of the realm of possibility that I could have twins, or my children could.
There were several sets of twins at my school, and MyHeritage also has twin brothers working here together (see photo above).
We've all heard stories of how twins can take advantage of their looks, either by taking exams or driving tests for each other or tricking their girlfriend or boyfriend. But I wonder what it must be like growing up as a twin.
Our very own US genealogy adviser, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, coined a wonderful term: genea-journey.
What is a genea-journey?
A genea-journey could describe a journey to research your family history and discover new relatives and information about them, or it could be an actual physical trip to the places your ancestors lived.
Whether it is a journey confined to books, archives, online websites or family interviews, or a journey "home," the goal is the same: Learning more about your family.
The summer months are prime time for pursuing such hobbies, or going on vacations. Have you taken a genea-journey this summer? Or, are you now planning one for the future? Where has your genea-journey taken you in the past?
Let us know by answering the poll below.
Today, the first Monday in September, is Labor Day in the US. The legal holiday has been celebrated for more than 100 years and came out of the labor movement. It is a tribute to contributions made by workers.
To many, however, the three-day weekend is the last blast of summer, with many communities’ schools opening on the day after.
For more on the holiday, look at the Department of Labor's Labor Day 2012 page, with videos, resources and more.
Although more than a century old, the actual founder of the day is not certain. Some believe that the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Peter J. McGuire, who was also a founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first to suggest a day to honor workers. Others believe that a machinist, Matthew Maguire – we don’t know if he was related to Peter - founded the day.