I know that our society is perfectly capable of forgetting. Most of us forget December 7 every year, the treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor that our parents and grandparents swore would never be forgotten, that launched our involvement in a world war and sent our sons and daughters to fight fascism and genocide. But I know that I, personally, will never forget. I can’t. The ways 9/11/01 changed my life are innumerable.
12 years ago today, we as a nation, and my husband and I, began a journey wracked with pain, loss, love, and devotion. That morning, DH’s childhood dreams of being a hero took on their mature form in a decision to serve in the military. As a small child, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, I’m told he replied “a general” and his long time friends still call him General for kicks. It was a little boy’s dream of heroism and glory, that as an adolescent he affirmed in maturity, understanding it would require duty, honor, and sacrifice for country. He started basic training at 17, his parents had to sign a waiver. He set his sights on that goal, overcoming many obstacles and training relentlessly to be a warrior and leader, to take the fight to those who plot against our country and the free people of the world.
That path he began 12 years ago today brought us together 5 years ago and I joined his mission with him. We have gained and lost so much. Incredible people have entered our lives, and we have lost friends, classmates, loved ones in battle. We lose hours, day, weeks, and months together, but we have gained a lifetime. 20 weeks ago, it separated us once again, but what God has joined, no trial or distance can put asunder. This separation is the culmination of all those years of training, his deployment to Afghanistan.
Our nation will endure through any challenge, any cowardly attack, because of the citizens who run toward danger, whether firefighters, police officers, and EMTs; soldiers, sailors, and marines; or patriots who continue to fight for a strong and free America. Today, I honor ordinary citizens who became heroes when faced with extraordinary circumstances, first responders who daily put themselves in harm’s way, and all the members of the Armed Forces who support this battle against radicalism, oppression, and hatred.
My husband is my hero, and our journey started 9/11/01. I will never forget.
“No greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13