My oldest son, just a toddler. My second son, not even born.
The world became a different place, that day.
Every generation seems to have a turning point.
This was ours. Things would never be the same.
How could I raise a child, I wondered that day, in a world where grown men crashed passenger air liners into skyscrapers?
Nothing made sense. Nothing would ever make sense again.
I knew that day would impact my life, our lives, our generation in ways that could not be imagined.
I did not know I would marry a man in the Army.
I did not know the ripple effect that day would have on the lives of my children, in a world where they would hug their Daddy goodbye over and over again, in a world where they cried themselves to sleep at night for months, even a whole year at a time….wondering if he would ever come home. A world where their young minds had to try and make sense of why he had to go at all and conversations about war, guns, death, freedom, bravery, soldiers, country, honor and integrity were near daily occurrences.
Who would have thought the war that began, truly, on that day…we would still be waging 12 years later?
Who would have thought that 12 years of war…could have so little impact on the country at large?
The War on Terror? No. It’s “The War Everyone Forgot. Except the Military”.
I hope and pray today, and every day, that the families of those killed on 9/11 and the families of those who have died since that tragic day as a result of over a decade at war….could in some small way feel the love, strength, and unity that we all felt in the days immediately after the attacks.
Because that, my friends, was the America I want to be a part of. The America we should all be striving to find again. It should not take an epic tragedy to stop the finger pointing, the hate, the name-and-blame-nothing-gets-better-ever–cause-it’s-more-fun-to-disagree-game. We have the ability to be So. Much. More.
It IS THERE. It is within us. I saw it. I felt it.
4 out of my 5 children have never lived in an America at Peace. And the only one who has, certainly has no conscious memory of it. But all of my children know what it is like to be the only kid in their classroom who has sacrificed for a war no one else seems to remember or care about.
I know what it was like to say “My husband is in Afghanistan” and have people either look at me quizzically or even question the truthfulness of my statement….”I thought we didn’t have troops in Afghanistan anymore?”
As the world continues to twist and turn down the road of war, chemical weapons, terror and violence….take a few minutes to stop and watch this, and Remember: That is not who we ARE.
It is not who we have to be.
Even after 12 years at war, this soldier can stand up and say what he IS fighting for:
(The original video has become private, I am not sure why. At the above link you can only see a small portion of the video, but it’s important to know the young man making the statements is an ACTOR. The soldier is not aware of this fact.)