September 11th baby.

It was 6:00 a.m. September 11th, 2001 at Mother Francis Hospital in Tyler, where Leslie and Garland Harroff wait to give birth to their first child. A few hours later, they turn on the TV to take Leslie's mind off labor pains. Instead, they felt the pain of the nation as they watched the World Trade Center Towers collapse. "It was kind of scary, because we were scared anyway about having our first child, but it was kind of scary to think about what she might have to experience growing up and we didn't know what was in store for our nation," explains Leslie. This Big Sandy couple tried to stay focused. "I didn't get to watch a whole lot of it in the hospital because someone was getting mad," says Garland with a smirk. Leslie adds, "We knew what was going on, but we didn't realize the extent cause we had a whole new thing going on our selves." Then, at seven o'clock that night, weighing 9 pounds 2 ounces, their whole world changed again. "Oh man it was great! It was the greatest thing I've ever felt," Garland recalls of the night his daughter, Allison, was born. "It made us even happier to hold her for the first time than if the attacks hadn't happened, because we were just thankful she was there and everything was fine," says Leslie. Almost one year later, Allison is walking and trying to talk, still innocent of what happened the day she was born. Leslie adds, "I think it's caused us to appreciate the little time we have with our loved ones and to try to spend as much time together as we can and enjoy it." As Garland watches Allison play with her toys he says, "Every day you live and see something different and watch her grow." The birth of a first child is a day no parent forgets. For the Harroffs, events of that day will also influence the way they raise their little girl. "It affects how we might teach her. We'll teach her hopefully not to be biased towards certain races, or religions, but to still be cautious of her surroundings and what's going on," says Leslie. For this East Texas family, this past year has been filled with mix emotions; fears and confusion about our nation, and joy and excitement about their family. But in the end, they discovered a love for both. Leslie says, "Through all these horrible events, everyone still has great things to look forward to and life will still carry on."