One day I hope you'll read this letter. The things that have happened in this country have to mean something to us citizens, to our history, to our society. So I will pass this along in hopes of making it meaningful to you.
It's been almost a year since the horrific events of September 11, 2001. Ryan, you were 3 to the day and Cole, you were one day shy of 5 months. I certainly don't expect either of you to remember what was going on that day and the days that followed, so I will tell you. It was a beautiful day pretty much all across the country, clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures. Cole, you had just gone down for a nap. From the living room, I could hear on the kitchen radio that the news people were abuzz about something, so I turned on the TV. There on the screen was a live picture of a burning building. I had no idea what was going on. Then, a plane crashed into the building next to the first one. I gasped and Ryan, you asked what was happening. I said in shock that a plane had hit a building to which you asked "why?" A perfectly reasonable question for which I had no answer and for which I still don't in many senses. Yes, I know logically that it was some bad men, who hated the United States, and who were trying to "bring us down" for political and religious reasons. But, to crash planes full of innocent people into buildings full of innocent people to make a point? Why?
The rest of the day I either had the radio on or the TV, and I was witness to all of the unfolding drama. The Pentagon being hit. The collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. The fourth plane crashing into a field in PA. Although it was beautiful outside, I kept you in the house. Mostly in our rec room in the basement, somehow feeling that if we were bunkered down there, nothing could happen to us. As the days passed, we learned more about the many people who died that day. The firefighters, the husbands, the mothers, so many people's loved ones were killed. At age 30, this was one of the biggest things in history to happen while I've been around, at least where I could remember it and comprehend it. It was unbelievable.
So, who am I to wax philosophical about those events? I didn't know anyone who was killed. I didn't even know anyone who knew someone who was killed. However, it was an emotional time for me nonetheless. With two young boys and the uncertain future of war and terrorism, I was afraid. Also, I empathized with the people who lost a wife or a husband and with the children who lost a mother or a father. I was amazed at the bravery of the firefighters and policemen who selflessly went into those burning buildings to save lives only to end up giving their own. I swelled with patriotism as we along with many others hung our flag, lit a candle, said a prayer.
A year later, I'd like to think our country is more unified and stronger. I'd like to think that people are nicer to one another and that people don't take things for granted. I'd like to think that this September 11 and for many, many years to come, we will all stop and reflect on what happened and what it meant to our lives. I'd like to think that nothing like this will ever happen again. But, I'm not sure about any of those things. I hope that when you read this letter years from now, the world will be a peaceful place. I know the future is uncertain, but I can hope, I can hope.
NOTE: Next month in Mommy Minute, I plan to return to the topic of child abductions and will focus on what we as parents and the community, in general, can do. Please be sure to read it!
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