Sunday, September 11, 2011

We will never forget

While we were eating dinner at church last Wednesday night, I overheard a friend talking with her third-grade daughter about her school day.
Mom: What did you learn in school today?
Daughter: We talked about when two planes crashed into twin towers.
Mom: Oh yeah? What did you learn about it?
Daughter: We learned that 3,000 people died and another plane crashed in a field. 
The conversation when continues, but it hit me like a ton of bricks-- Realizing that to Katie {and her generation and every generation that follows} the attacks on 9/11 will merely be something they learn about in textbooks at school. And it really just hit me like a ton of bricks.

Now my sisters are quite a bit younger than me. They were in elementary school in 2001 {and Laura was actually celebrating her 10th  birthday the day of the terrorist attacks!} and while they were too young to really know what happened, they can both express how things were different that day. They knew *something* happened.

But when Katie mentioned learning about the planes crashing into the towers, it reminded me of the times when my mom would ask me about my day at school. Like, when Kennedy was shot, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, when Nazi Germany surrendered and people celebrated Victory across the word. The subjects I learned about in History class.


I can imagine this is just how the people of generations of that time feel about me. I am sure that when December 7th passes by each year, that they remember that very day when Pearl Harbor was bombed-- where they were, how they felt, how the world changed.

I still remember that day in September.

I was a senior in high school, sitting in first hour when Mr. Ockenfels came in the room and said, "remember what you're doing right now. You will remember it for the rest of your life." The news websites were down from all of the traffic, so we listened to the news events of that day by radio. It was so confusing. What happened?! Why?? Another plane. Why?? After school, I waited in a line that went all the way down the street just to fill up with gasoline. I watched the news all night that evening after our scheduled volleyball game was cancelled.

But the thing that really matters, is that the next day- life went on. I went to school, my parents went to work. As did the rest of the world. We weren't going to let this horrific tragedy keep us down. Our nation joined together to pray for more people to be found, for the safety of the rescue workers, for our armed forces. Teams from all over the country went to the city to help piece back together the disaster area the terrorists left for us. We overcame. We stood united.

Life went on. I graduated, went to college. I married my college sweetheart. And now we have two children. Ten years has passed, but I will never forget.

We will never forget. 

I write this now. I want my children to know what it was like to celebrate this unfortunate anniversary. I want them to understand why we honor the lives lost on this day. I want them to be so proud of that pilot who crashed his plane into the field, the first responders who lost their lives helping others, the young men and women who lined up to enlist in the service. I want them to understand what happened that day- that it wasn't an accident, but planned and intentional.

Not to scare them or to taint their childlike view of our world, but to teach them that we have something worth fighting for. To teach them of our great freedoms in this country and what it means to do the right thing. To stick up for people. To understand that freedom comes at a cost and it is our responsibility to stick together and support each other. And lastly, to understand why Daddy decided to enlist to serve our country- that sometimes we must serve a greater purpose than our own. And even though it means that sometimes he has to be gone, it is because he is doing his part to keep us safe. To keep us all safe.

I love what Lara at Less Cake {More Frosting} created as a FREE printable. Just check out her site and read her touching posts as well. 

{Lastly, happy 20th birthday Laura!}


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