Tuesday, September 11, 2012

And The Greatest Is Love....

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
--- John 15:13

All over social and regular media today, people are asking, "Where were you on 9/11?". Paige's homework last night was to ask Den and I that very same question. On September 11, 2001, Dennis and I, like so many others stationed at Laughlin AFB, were getting ready to go to the funeral of Capt. Drew Kajans, an instructor pilot who had tragically passed away. I was getting a then 15 month old Paige up and dressed when I got a call from a friend to turn on the news, that the World Trade Center was on fire. I called to Den and we turned on CNN just in time to see the second plane hit the towers. I remember feeling confused, as I'm sure many people were, and very, very worried for my family, who live very close to the Johnson Space Center, the ports of Houston and Galveston, and one of the largest concentrations of chemical plants and oil refineries in the United States. Funny, I never thought to worry about us. Shortly after the towers fell, we laid Capt. Kajans to rest. His story will forever be intertwined with September 11th for me. 

September 11, 2007 found Dennis in Afghanistan

September 11, 2009 found Dennis in Iraq

September 11, 2010 found Dennis working at Central Command

Now, another September 11th has rolled around and I am staring a a foot locker full of desert tan. Soon, Dennis will return again to Afghanistan. I can't help but wonder, what will he find when he gets there? How will it be different this time? Have the last 11 years of war and the toll it has taken on so many families been worth it? I have to believe that it has. 

I started this blog post speaking of love. I have run across a couple of Facebook postings today that really stand out to me.

The first, from a Poquoson friend, George Ford...

"For me the days after 9-11 was what is great about this country. We put aside politics. There were no Republicans, no Democrats but only Americans. This nation pulled together like we have done few times in our History. People were friendlier to strangers, spoke more to their neighbors. We were scared, but we were pissed. Thanks to the soldiers that brought the fight to them, and our Seal Team that put a bullet into the head of a coward that didn't have the balls to defend himself, even after convincing countless other to sacrifice their lives for such a horrific event. Let's Roll"

And the second, from John McCain

"Our shock over the enormity of the attack has long passed, as has the nation’s trauma, at least for those of us who did not lose loved ones on that terrible day. But we have not lost, and we never will, our outrage at the inconceivable cruelty, the depravity, it took to plan, organize and execute the atrocities. And let us act on our outrage, and teach our children to do the same, by not only remaining resolute in our efforts to defeat our enemies, but even more so in our efforts to remain the moral opposite of our enemies. Let us be, forever, a people whose respect for the dignity of all human life is our highest and defining value."

George's posting is very much in line with my own thinking. September 11th is one of our country's darkest hours, but it is also one of our triumphs. We truly pulled together as one people to rise from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93. People were kinder. We looked out for one another as a product of our shared sacrifice. THAT is the legacy of 9/11 that I want to pass on to my children. That from great tragedy comes great love. 

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