Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I dropped off my oldest son at Kindergarten and took the dog to the vet. Driving home, I heard that a plane crashed into the Twin Towers.
Watching the news when I got home, a second plane hit. I looked at my younger boy and was flooded with emotions, but I reacted out of fear.
I called school and told them to have my son waiting for me. They told me he’d be ready, but to pick him up at Church as Father had the school there for prayer (as well as attempting to keep the students calm). The rest of the day they played with Legos and watched videos, while I watched the news.
I remember hearing about the Pentagon and Flight 93. I remember watching repeated evacuations of buildings because we did not know the extent of the attack. I remember Congress singing “God Bless America” on the Capital steps. And I remember holding my children and wife so closely throughout that day and praying.
We live near a fairly large airport, and the eerie silence as flights were grounded and the odd emptiness of the sky, is still something I reflect upon. There was the selfless actions of those firemen, those policemen, those passengers and Todd Beamer; those New Yorkers, those volunteers, those cities offering equipment and manpower — everyone was sending supplies and money, cards and notes! Our military was on alert, as was an entire Nation. People began flying flags that hadn’t seen the light of day for years. But what could a dad too old to fight really do? It was during that frustration that I realized I was literally standing on the battlefield.
Those planes crashed into neighborhoods and workplaces. They killed people who were just living their lives. Men, women, babies, grandmothers – al Qaeda didn’t care. They were why sporting events were searching every car, and stadiums had “no fly” zones around them; they were why the stock markets closed, and why malls were practically empty (it was well over a week before we went anywhere public, and far longer before we took the kids) – and that is when I began to write.
I wrote letters to the editors, I posted on blogs, I met with politicians and people at church and school. I spoke against Americans becoming human shields, against disrupting our supply lines in L.A., against the Vietnam-like body counts, against not making Muslims choose a side, and then against how the War on Terror was being run.
My kids are older now, and don’t talk much about “the day the towers fell” – as they called September 11th when they were little. We instead talk about letting knives back on planes, the TSA, the NSA, the IRS, Libya, and Benghazi. We talk about ObamaCare, a 17 trillion dollar debt, a growing government, a generation not expected to have it better than their parents, of entitlement programs on the verge of insolvency and collapse, of Constitutional protections and rights being given (if not taken) away. We talk about God and stumbles of His Church, and we talk about football, baseball, cars, and video games.
My sons are still why I write. They deserve a better Nation than what we are leaving them.