Military mama: We all have something to learn from 9/11
Show of hands, who had a good cry this week? I know that I had tears rolling despite my attempts to avoid the 9/11 tributes. It’s not that I don’t care, I am not heartless. Rather I didn’t want to expose my kids to the kind of brutality and reality of that tragic day. My oldest has seen a YouTube clip of a newscast from the day. The only exposure that he has had to this event was directly related to the death of Osama Bin Laden.
How do you explain to a five year old that there are people out there who hate our country, despise our culture and have done everything in their power to hurt us as a whole?
I am not ready to answer that question. I know I can’t shelter him from the truth forever, but I also don’t want his dreams haunted by visions of people jumping from buildings to escape the flames.
What is important is that I am trying to pass on the result of these attacks. This horrific incident caused citizens to become heroes. An unfortunate number of people did not survive the incident, but so many of those spent their last breaths assisting others. Those that bravely charged in and never made it home that day are the type of people that he needs to know existed. And God forbid any other incident arise, there will be those instinctual heroes today.
Most likely, if you are reading this you either are that type or someone you love dearly is that hero in the wings.
Our armed forces have fought for our rights. There was such a shift in our entire perspective of patriotism. How many of our current active duty servicemembers were inspired to join up as a direct result of this tragic day? How many were already in the service but re-enlisted to continue to fight the war on terror?
What I need for my children to understand is that for a moment the world did stop that day. That those hours, days and weeks of rescue missions were what strengthened our bond as a country. We will never forget.
There are bad guys in the world, but there are good guys ready and willing to fight to protect us. It didn’t take a celebrity-packed public service announcement for us to rally together. We will not stand for bullying. We will not allow our country to be poked and provoked. We could not save all of the lives lost that day, but we will not allow them to become just another paragraph in a history book. Our future changed that day, though many of our kids were not yet born. Everything my son knows about our country is now influenced not simply by the event ten years ago, but every reaction and action taken since. What he needs to know and understand is that we stand united.