I remember a crisp, cool September morning. My son was running late, as usual. He was headed out the door with the breakfast of champions in his hand (Mountain Dew and a pop tart), as the scene unfolded on early morning TV. What we saw stopped us both in our tracks, and shook us...and the nation...to our very souls. Heartbreak, disbelief, terror...the overwhelming need to find those close to us and hold them tight...teachers, with rooms full of young minds, cast lesson plans aside and watched history unfold with their students, tears streaming down their faces. Trying to make sense of it all..and never really finding a way to do that. Unable to turn away from the horror, the world watched, anger burning to the core of our very being, aching to do something...anything...to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our country. From that day on, life changed...for everyone. Less trust in fellow man, a greater sense of duty and obligation, even more patriotism for this wounded country...sorrow for those who gave their lives on that day.
Today, 6 years later....I remember. I stand under another brilliant blue sky on a crisp, cool September morning and my heart swells with pride at the young man that son has become. Pride in his choice to follow in the footsteps of those who walked before him...pride in his sense of duty and honor and commitment. Pride in his love for his country. Yes, fear, as his choices have placed him in harms way....but he did so willingly. Politics mean nothing to him....his willingness to serve comes from the heart..and from a long line before him that made the same choice.
I remember to tie a yellow ribbon around all the trees in my yard...to honor these boys and girls that have made the choice to serve...to protect my basic rights, whether I agree with the politics of the world or not. I remember to light a candle and keep it burning until all our troops come home. I remember to fly a flag, in support of the great country that I've been lucky to live in, and each day say a little prayer of thanks for the blessings I've been given. To those of you that do the same, I say "Thank You". To Julie, who so faithfully goes out of her way to send care packages to this young son of mine, I say a HUGE "Thank You"!
In a very different world today, we find that family and friends mean much more. We hold each other a little closer, travel a little less and find that home.....where our hearts really are....becomes so very much more important to us. It took one day in September to teach us this. It's a lesson I'll always remember. And I can't wait until that young son comes home to us!