We all remember where we were when the planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the field in Shanksville, Pa. We all spend 9/11 every year thinking back to that day. I was two months into my first “real” job out of college in Charleston, SC. I worked for a country music radio station and my boyfriend did network security for the DOD at SPAWAR in North Charleston. I put him on a plane September 10th to fly across the country to San Diego. I was grateful that his flight was the day before.
At first, we all thought it was an accident, but then the second plane hit and we knew it was never an accident. This was an intentional act of terrorism. I watched news coverage upon news coverage that day. I cried. I became angry. I was sympathetic and I had an intense sense of patriotism to get the SOBs who slaughtered so many innocent people.
Yesterday was a bit different as I decided to take the opportunity to “teach” my son a little about our nation’s history while encouraging his patriotism.
I dressed Davey in his American flag t-shirt for preschool.
“Mama, it’s not fourth of July. Why I wear this?” he asked.
“We’re showing our patriotism for a dark day in our nation’s history,” I replied.
As a matter of fact, I dressed Henry in his USA, red, white, and blue romper and I donned my own red, white, and blue. Off we went, listening to the radio as the newscaster was reporting live from the World Trade Center Memorial. Davey listened as the trumpet played Taps and the bag pipers followed. He told me he like the sound of the bag pipes could I play them again.
A few hours later, I picked him up from school. On our way home, we passed two different fire departments. Each one had their ladder truck parked down by the road with the ladder extended high above and an American flag attached to the end waving in the wind.
“Mama, why all these trucks have flags on them?” Davey asked.
“Because they help us to remember the people who were hurt,” I said.
“Why they hurt?” Davey asked.
“Because bad people always want to hurt us,” I replied.
“Oh no, Mama, we got to stop them,” he said.
Then he asked me to turn around and go back to the last fire truck, so I did. When we arrived, I pulled over so he could look at the flag and I watched my son, my heart swelling with pride as he put his right hand over his heart and said,
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Indivisible under God. Amen.”
It’s the only part he’s managed to learn of the pledge, but it was perfect. He asked me how he did, and I said better than 90% of Americans. And then I thanked him before driving home.