. . .the day i lost my childhood. . .

10:13 AM

a couple nights ago i was watching youtube videos of soldiers coming home (i don't know why because they always make me cry) and i realized that September 11 was just a few days away. it got me thinking a little bit. fourteen years ago was a long time ago. the girls i work with- most of them don't even remember it happening, and some of them weren't even alive! 
but i remember.

our family at Yellowstone 2001- i'm the one on the far right

i was 11 years old. up until that day my life had been relatively unscarred. nothing horrible happens in small town America. i'd heard my parents talking about syria, but i didn't know anything about violence, death and war. i knew that war had happened, but in my young mind, it was a thing of the past. something for my parents and grandparents to remember. my mind was filled with the mystery books i was reading, aspirations to become a marine biologist, jumping on the trampoline with my brothers, thoughts of the fall holidays. 
because i was homeschooled when the news came through, i was upstairs. i think i was reading a book. my brother came and told me that mom wanted us downstairs right now for something on TV. what?! in my family we only turned on the TV for General Conference or to watch movies together. the fact that we were watching something on TV was a little scary. because it was not something we did. i remember sitting there all morning as my childhood innocence slipped out the window. 




i didn't understand the implications of everything that was happening- the politics of it all. but i understood that some one, somewhere, in a place far away, hated America, and so they had decided to hurt thousands of innocent people. i understood that people were dying. and for the first time in my life i felt fear- real fear. fear that there might be a huge war. fear that my five brothers might be sent off to war. a realization that the world wasn't as safe as i had always thought it was. 
it seemed like time stood still as we watched. and it stretched out in front as images kept spilling in. mom was crying. we were silent. looking back, i wonder how much my younger brothers grasped of what was going on. at the time, they were 2, 5, 7 and 10. 
but something else i saw that day were heroes. firefighters, first responders, policemen, and bystanders, who i saw covered in ash, doing all they could to save people's lives. 

fourteen years later, there are still heroes. servicemen and women who are protecting us daily from the further threat of terrorism. men and women who expend their efforts through diplomacy, humanitarian work, or spiritual leadership to bring freedom to all people. to allow all men and women to have their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
i will never forget 9/11 because it changed who i am. in remembering, i want to tell those i love how much they mean to me. i want defend my liberties from all who would destroy them. i remember the heroes and i want to be a "helper"- someone who can be there for people in distress. i remember men and women overseas who are fighting to keep us safe. and i remember their sacrifices. i remember my hometown, my upbringing. and i am thankful for the good that has come from all this.

that we can stand united. that we can and should turn to God, not just in time of trouble but always. that loving your neighbor is so important. to appreciate every day we are given. because it is a gift. and i remember that there are so many good people out there. more than the bad. 
and that is what makes us great.

"America is great because she is good. if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." {Alexis de Tocqueville}

You Might Also Like

2 comments

  1. I am son touched to learn how you that day changed you. Sometimes Uncle Sean and I wonder if our extended family realize that all we missed out on in the lives of our nieces and nephews is part of the sacrifice those service men and women make to keep America safe. It is also a sacrifice you have made in not getting to know us as you grew up. To you and all of your cousins I say Thank You, and now that we are back home we hope we can grow as close to you all now as we would have, had we been here for the past 25 years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am son touched to learn how you that day changed you. Sometimes Uncle Sean and I wonder if our extended family realize that all we missed out on in the lives of our nieces and nephews is part of the sacrifice those service men and women make to keep America safe. It is also a sacrifice you have made in not getting to know us as you grew up. To you and all of your cousins I say Thank You, and now that we are back home we hope we can grow as close to you all now as we would have, had we been here for the past 25 years.

    ReplyDelete