Thursday, September 11, 2008

Freedom walk

Seven years ago today I was watching a morning show and saw the attacks on the world trade centers. My friend Jana was visiting as Chris was at Bradley School and I was pregnant with Cal. We were in Georgia (Ft. Benning) and little did I realize how much this event would impact my family's future. Jana and I decided to get out of the apartment and drive over to Warm Springs to walk around the town. It was eerie to walk down the block and step into little stores where people were huddled around their radios listening to the updates and speculations of the attacks. We had lunch and the waitress kept trying to plug the t.v. into the socket next to us... I just kept praying that it wouldn't work (and my prayer was answered as she had to relocate it, upstairs) as I just couldn't stand to see the explosions and chaos anymore. My mind kept thinking about what this would mean for my husband... for our family. I just knew we would be dealing with a war of some kind and the thought of separation from Chris and the risks that came with it was a little much to sort.
Fast forward to today... Cal is almost 7 and he and his siblings know more about war than I could have anticipated. Don't get me wrong... my kids haven't had to experience war like many other children around the world... and for that I am grateful. I just cant help but admire how they handle our military lifestyle. Sure, it's all they know but they have really weathered some tough times.
As I flipped through the t.v. this morning one of the news channels showed soldiers at Camp Eggers (Afghanistan). Chris and Dan Eggers were in the Infantry Captain's Course together. Dan and two others died when their vehicle hit a mine in 2004. It made me think of some other soldiers who have died... and their families.
The schools at Ft. Leavenworth did their first Freedom Walk today. I was able to walk with Cal and his 1st grade class. It was a special moment for me as I got to spend time with just him. He is familiar with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but he wasn't familiar with the 9-11 attacks. I didn't go into great detail (didn't want him to fear planes) but I explained enough for him to understand the importance of the walk. Once everyone was at the track and the ceremony began it was moving to hear all of the kids (and many parents/soldiers) sing their songs and wave their flags. There was a dad in a wheel chair wearing a t-shirt that said 'I left half my leg in Iraq' and not far away were some international soldiers standing with their children waving American Flags. I am sure many of the speeches given at these walks all over America were about our patriotism and to remember the victims and honor those in uniform... ours had some of that too. Our families and especially the children were honored at ours! They were recognized for their sacrifices. I couldn't help but think how some children have given so much... like Dan Eggers boys.
The phrase 'United we Stand' has bugged me a little over the years. I have always felt like I have been standing, long before the attacks. Well, today, standing with Cal and holding his hand was special because I know Chris and I have done well raising him, Lydia and Ty... they are our little heroes!


Grandma Susan said...

All these children are "ittle heroes" for they have sacrificed so much. My admiration for the families who give and yet are proud to be an American.
Love you all!

Anonymous said...

Wow, it is hard to believe it was 7 years ago. I will never forget sitting on the edge of the bed in a towel for over an hour, just trying to get my head around it all. I love you guys! love, jana