September 11….We’ve gotten through nine of these now, and none of us are the same, are we? I guess that’s not surprising, but the changes this year kind of jumped up and grabbed me.
I did the same things I did on that day, got up, ate a bite of breakfast, read the paper….Only today was a weekend, and I wasn’t on my way to work. Walker was lazing around with me, no longer off flying the skies as he was that morning. But there was a hummingbird on the feeder when I went out to water my plants this afternoon, just as there was on that awful day. I could feel fall approaching that day too, but today the roar from the television was that of SEC football, not an endless reel of those planes crashing into the towers.
Our family now includes four more grandsons born since that day. The landscape around the house has matured providing more privacy. My waistline and my mind have both expanded, hopefully one a bit more than the other. My computer has had several reincarnations, some loved ones have also moved on.
This year, though, there is a different spirit in the air in our country. There is more unrest and anger toward those who damaged our world than I’ve seen in all the nine years since it happened. Fortunately, some of the more radical voices have been moved to a lower timbre by the more reasoned ones. But it’s like our society has collectively entered a new phase of grieving, the phase when you’re really angry at someone…anyone…you’re just plain angry.
Every year when I attend the Grandparents Day program at our grandsons’ school, I am swept away with patriotism inspired by the recognition of grandparents who have fought for our country, recitation and singing of patriotic songs and verse, a presentation by a color guard of ROTC students from a nearby public high school, and an inspirational speech, usually given by a celebrity with some connection to our community. For the past several years, I’ve been struck by the contrast between the assembly of fresh-faced elementary school boys who will almost to a man have a choice about whether they serve their country and the young men who could be on the front lines within the year, some from choice, others because of lack of choices.
Every year, tears come to my eyes when I realize how much I don’t want any of these young folks to fight any kind of a war, no matter how sterile it might become. I don’t want any of them to have war stories tucked away inside their heads for the rest of their lives that are too painful to unpack. While I feel a pride when I see my husband rise when the Army guys are recognized, I know that in my heart of hearts I don't want any of my grandsons, or my grandaughter, to have to ever have to agree to kill or be killed.
Today, like on that day nine years ago, the song rattling around in my head as I puttered around in the yard was “Let There be Peace on Earth”. (For an outstanding rendition go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCzEq1DKPYA&feature=related )
I know that my most basic desire is for Peace because peace means that my family will be safe. I’ll bet there are some mothers of would be terrorists who have the same desire. I’m going to pray for all the mothers and grandmothers of the world to join me in making this song our goal. Let us work to influence those young minds to find ways to share in all the generous gifts of a gracious God…whatever his or her name might be.