Chicago children react to 9/11

It is noon Friday. Thirty-six little heads are bowed in honor of the victims of Tuesday’s tragedy. Many of them have miniature American flags perched on their desks. These children-many of whom don’t yet like members of the opposite sex in that way-cling onto each other’s hands in solidarity. They are fifth graders at Arthur Dixon Elementary School on the South Side. Bright and articulate, they are acutely aware of this week’s events. They speak as knowledgeably about the terrorists as they do about pint-sized rap star Lil Bow Wow.