Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years...

I know most people will be putting up memorial blogs, vlogs, posts, etc. about what 9/11 memories they have, or where they were, or what have you. But I want to talk about what it means to me, as a parent.
In my memory, the events of that day are quite vivid, which I'm sure most can relate to. I was 15, and I had just entered my keyboarding class, ready to take a test. When I got to the room, the TV was on, which I thought was strange, because the teacher had a strict policy about no television in her room. But because all of the TV's in the school were connected by a central control panel, every TV in the school happened to be on after the news broke. I remember looking up at the screen right as the second plane hit. I think that truly was my last moment as a child. All I could think was that it had to be a mistake. America was the greatest place on Earth, how could this happen. Needless to say, the test was postponed. And because of my town's proximity to a nuclear power plant, speculation began to circulate about if something were going to happen to us. I think for a solid week, no work was accomplished at my school. After a couple days, the TV's were turned off, but the fear remained, as I'm sure it did for many around our country. And for weeks, I think we wondered if there was going to be a secondary attack.
I remember that for months, there was a huge call to prayer for our country. Attendance in local churches swelled and flags hung in almost every yard in town.
Then we went to war. And while I don't want to make this a political debate, I think both parties are responsible, no matter who was in office at the time. And we still are in this fight today.
So for me, 9/11 has been on my mind for the past ten years. Not a day has gone by that I don't think about what it has changed in me. I have family and friends in the military who've had to go overseas, but I have been so very fortunate to still have them all with me. I know many who have lost loved ones to war. And my heart goes out to them and I am so very thankful for their service. I wonder sometimes if the draft will be reinstated and if my husband will be called up. It's my prayer that that doesn't happen, but I know that he will do what is needed for his country.
But as for how this has affected me as a parent, well, I think it has just made me all the more conscience of their innocence. I want to protect them from all the evils of this world and shelter them from any harm. I know all parents want to keep their children small, and I'm no exception. I want my children to stay children as long as possible. Yes, I was 15 when 9/11 happened, but I was still very much a child until that moment. And I suppose, most of all, I just want them to never have to experience their childhood and innocence being ripped away from them like it was for me and countless others. While I am doing my best to prepare them for the big, crazy world that awaits them not too far in the future, I hope they stay little boys for a long, long time.

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