"Where were you?"

Our girl C at our family house on the Chesapeake Bay - Fourth of July, 2007

September 11, 2001.

Everything changed that day.  We lost family members, loved ones, co-workers...and our innocence.

Living here in the DC metro area, it was a particularly horrific day.  I had lots of my immediate family and friends who were working downtown when the plane hit the Pentagon, as well as friends who lived and worked in the financial district in NYC.  My now-husband was travelling by air.  My mother was on stand-by to head in to her job as a burn and trauma nurse at the Washington Hospital Center, which was preparing to receive victims.  I myself was in North Bethesda, MD, teaching my classroom full of bright-eyed first-graders - many of whom had family working in DC, the Pentagon, or flying for work - about, ironically, the attributes of a pentagon vs. a square when the planes hit and rumors began to swirl that there was another on the way.

Today, we have seen Osama bin Laden finally meet his demise.  While he is gone, his message of hatred lives on, and I pray that we as a country can continue to find the strength to stand up to that  evil vitriol.  I find myself looking back on how everything changed that day, almost ten years ago.  And then, I think about my girls.  The world in which they are growing up is a little more wary, a little less safe.  It's a world in which they have to take off their shoes to fly on a plane (imagine what a treat that is for a kid who has SPD!).  They occasionally fall asleep at night and hear the sounds of fighter jets from some of our area's bases running maneuvers in the airspace around DC.  There are places around our city where we simply are no longer allowed to go.  And that makes me sad for them.  But it also gives me resolve to do everything I can to help them have a happy, healthy life.  Whatever I can do to shield them from some of the harsh realities of our world today, I will do.  And even more importantly, I will teach them that above all, we must love one another.

They ARE young.  They DESERVE their innocence.  If just for a little while longer.

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