11:53 AM

September 11

September 11th. Seven years ago I was lying in bed with my husband. The clock radio kicked on and the disc jockey was just announcing that they had received reports of a small plane crashing into the World Trade Center towers in New York.

My oldest boy, who was eleven at the time, came tearing into our room 30 seconds later. He was watching the television and they had broken into the programming. I remember thinking to myself, “they’re pretty stirred up for a small plane.” I switched on the television in the bedroom just in time to watch the second plane hit the towers. It was the end of innocence for the children in my household.

Everything good about the world ended for my kids that day. Their sense that all was well in the world and that they lived in a safe place was shattered. At the time, I worked on the 36th floor of the tallest building in Portland, Oregon. That morning, my children begged and pleaded with me to please not go to work. They were afraid that our area would be next.

The next day I was driving home with my oldest son from an appointment. The radio was on and the song “God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood started playing. My son and I started singing along, but halfway through the first chorus, he broke down with heaving sobs. When the song was done, I turned off the radio, I quit watching T.V., I was overwhelmed by the constant images and reminders. My son, once he regained his composure, looked at me and said. “When I am 18, I’m joining the military, and I’m going to do whatever I can to keep our people safe.”

Noble words for an 11 year old, but he was 7 years away from 18, and a lot could happen between now and then.

Two days ago my son received his orders from the United States Air Force. He leaves the 28th of October for basic training in San Antonio, Texas. After he completes Basic, he will start schooling to become an Explosive Ordinance Disposal specialist.

I know that from now until his military career ends, that he will be dropped into every hot zone that exists around the world. He’ll be the guy on the front, clearing the path, to keep our people safe.


Anonymous said...

You have raised quit a young man to be proud of. Kare