This day, and always ...
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I'm reminded today of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address ... that we here resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..." We will be better people, we will develop more understanding for others, we will reach out with compassion to those who suffer, we will share one others' burdens, because, as Lucy Mack Smith wrote many years ago, "we must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another, and gain instruction - that we may all sit down in heaven together. " And we don't have to wait for heaven to reap the blessings of our actions.
Not only do we remember the victims of 9/11/2001 - we are reminded that, in one way or another, we are all victims and no one is immune from feeling the ripple effect that has touched the lives of almost every American, and of course countless others who have suffered because of the selfish decisions and actions of a few idiotic morons. Jobs, security, and anything to do with financial stability are almost things of the past - and recovery seems bleak when these troubles camp at your own doorstep.
Those who serve in the military are especially to be commended today. They, along with their families, serve us well and we are all proud of our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, and all who are willing to place themselves in harm's way for us and their/our country!
Because my husband served in the military, his coffin was draped with a U.S. flag and after the 21 gun salute by the local VFW chapter, the haunting "taps" rendition by the one bugle player in our town, that flag was folded during a solemn ceremony, then presented to me. For several years, I treasured that flag, and kept it in a closet for 'safe-keeping'. The afternoon of 9/11/2001, my two teen-aged boys (who had been 8 and 5 when their dad died) and i took that flag from its 'safe-keeping place' and put it on a 25-foot flag pole - then planted the flag pole in the middle of our farm where it can be seen by hundreds of people passing by on the farm-to-market road every day. After raising the flag, we stood as a little family of 3 - "proud to be Americans, where at least we know we're free", and we "Pledged Allegiance to the Flag". Since that day, we've replaced the flag many times (Idaho winds are not kind to flying flags) - and each time, whoever happens to be home visiting at the time stands at attention with me as the flag is raised, then we recite together the 'Pledge of Allegiance". It is because of the dedication and commitment of other people - your sons, your daughters - your mothers - your fathers - that we are privileged to share this experience as a family. And we thank you and them! God Bless America - and, as Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, every one" - and I add humbly and gratefully, " God bless us This Day and Always!"
It is people like your son who make it possible for us to have this experience. And we thank you and him.