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!