Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Mom, why is the flag at half mast?"

How do you answer that question for children who don't remember that day?  My children don't remember a time when we were not at war.  David was four years old and Abigail just under six weeks old that September.  I struggled to explain why the "bad guys" would choose those targets.  I understand that the towers were symbols of American freedom and financial strength.  The Pentagon is a symbol of our military strength, but how do you explain freedom to children who have never lived in a country without it?  An then, how do you explain why someone would attack us because of that freedom?

Yes they understood the basic facts, airplanes, towers, the Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania, but they can't understand the horror and grief of that day and all of the days after it.  I am glad they can't understand.  I am forever grateful to the men and women who keep my children secure in their freedom, never understanding what it is to live in fear and without freedom.  I pray that the babies born in Iraq and Afghanistan today won't understand.  I hope their mothers can say "You were too  little to know what it was like back then..... But now we are free".  I pray that day comes soon.


"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.  The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks nothing is worth war is much worse.  The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no  chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of greater men than himself."

-John Stuart Mill

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