Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A letter to my children on the anniversary of 9/11

To Sophia and Harlan,

You are still a bit young to fully understand or appreciate the significance of September 11, so I write this knowing you will read this someday. I wanted to put down some of these thoughts as they came to me on this somber day or remembrance and reflection.  It should be for every American, although, I'm sure the number of people who stop, pause and think about the the lives lost on that September day and in defense of our nation since that time grows smaller each year. I hope you will always remember this day and the ones prior which challenged and ultimately built this nation. Dad and I intend to teach you about them and in this case, we hope you will always honor the memory of those innocent people who perished, remember the police, firefighters, and ordinary citizens, like Benjamin Clark or Todd Beamer (and many others), who helped others escape burning buildings and comforted each other in the aftermath. I don't like the idea of you knowing what kind of evil exists in the world and that there is an enemy out there that delights in harming our nation, its' people and spreading terror across the world. It is my prayer that you will, in those moments of realization, cling to the promise of Deuteronomy 31:8, fearing not and trusting in Him, knowing that your God goes before you and will never forsake you in any circumstance because you are His.

Believe it or not, your mommy had a front row seat on this day. You see, before I was "mom" I worked in our nation's capitol and was there on this day when along with the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was attacked. I wrote about my experience that day and those that followed, along with a few other historical events that took place while I was living and working in Washington. I will share that version with you too where I describe what it was like to be evacuated out of the city and witness our Pentagon burning across the river. I describe the feelings of shock and sadness that affected everyone, those of pride and resilience that came afterward and how as a nation, united, we moved forward after that day. Today, I just want to pull out a few personal pictures to show you. Believe it or not, we didn't have cameras on our phones then, so these are the "old timey" scanned photos.
A picture I snapped of the Pentagon
This is a picture of the Hart building where I worked. For months, flags hung from every member's office.

Flags hanging on the Capitol
What I do want you to know is that out of every tragedy, comes goodness too. God literally raised beauty out of those ashes in so many ways. There were stories of heroism, hope and love that came out of that immense loss. Your daddy and I met because 9/11 changed the direction of his life as he decided to go back into the Marines. That decision resulted in us meeting and marrying just more than a year later and now here you both are, going on to make your own special mark in the world. When you do, remember that it's our responsibility as citizens to study our history, learn from it and remember and honor the sacrifices of others who have gone before us.

I love and treasure you both.


No comments:

Post a Comment