Thursday, September 8, 2011

Teaching our Children

On September 11, 2001, I was a 19 year old starting my sophomore year of college at BYU-Idaho.  I remember getting up for the day and turning the radio on.  As I was getting ready I heard the DJ say something about planes hitting the World Trade Centers.  I thought he sounded almost too casual about it and I thought he was joking at first.  But I knew if it was true that it would be on TV.  So I hurried and turned the TV on and they were replaying the 2nd plane hitting the World Trade Center.  I was in shock.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  Next thing I know they are breaking in again saying that another plane had hit the Pentagon. 

What was going on?  I remember being so confused and scared.  I knew that life would never be the same.  I went to my class and during that class I remember my teacher telling us that both of the towers had fallen.  Once class was over I went back to my apartment and just sat and watched TV all day.  I heard story after story of survival and also of the horror.  I remember hearing about the heroics of Flight 93.  What a brave group of Americans to sacrifice their life for the sake of us all. 

Later in the day I remember attending the weekly devotional the school held every Tuesday.  The opening song we sang was "Be Still, My Soul".  I remember barely being able to sing the song because I was so overwhelmed with how poignant the words were.

"Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

 Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below"

I remember coming home that semester during Thanksgiving and being so proud to be an American.  All over Las Vegas were American Flags proudly displayed.  Many cars had flags, homes and businesses were displaying them and those days and months after were filled with a spirit of Unity, a love of God and of our country.  The terrorists had wanted to break our spirits, yet they had accomplished the complete opposite.  We came together and turned our Country back to God.  I remember wondering how long it would take our nation to forget this fateful day.  Sadly many have lost that unity and love of country they had shortly after 9-11.  I have even heard people complain about 9-11 saying we talk about it too much.  It saddens me when I hear people say they wish we wouldn't make such a big deal about 9-11.  The minute we as a nation forget those events of that day (the good and the bad) is the day we will see history repeat itself.                       

Here I stand 10 years later and my life has changed a lot in those 10 years.  I am now married and have 3 beautiful children.  This week we have been watching documentaries on September 11th.  My two boys (ages 5 and 3) have asked me a lot of questions about that day.  They ask why those men crashed the planes into those buildings.  To them they just can't comprehend why someone would do that.  So they keep asking, hoping I can give them an answer that makes sense but I can't.  I am glad they can't comprehend that type of hatred and evil.  I pray they never will comprehend it.  My kids were born post 9-11, but I don't want that day to be what Pearl Harbor was to me.  I want them to learn all they can about that day.  We know that when we fail to learn/remember history it will repeat itself.  I don't want my kids to have to experience another 9-11.   I pray we all can forever remember that day and remember how as a nation we turned to our Maker and relied on him and how we all proudly declared our love of America.

May God continue to Bless AMERICA!

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Sandie said...

I have been answering those questions this week too. I can't believe how instantly we can go back to that feeling. I am teaching my children too and I couldn't agree more. We all have to make sure they know.

gubler5 said...

I think it is important that we tell our young children about what hate can do to you. How many times does an angry child shout that they hate you or something? What a perfect time to let them know that now is the time for them to learn to control their feelings and that hate in any degree is wrong. Hatred brought down those planes and towers and nothing else. It wasn't fulfillment of a religious commitment, but hatred!
A quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie says it all. "Sincerity has almost nothing to do with gaining salvation. Men who slay the saints can be just as sincere as those who thus become martyrs. Men can believe as devoutly in falsehood that they will even lay down their own lives for it. What does it matter that those who killed the prophets, either ancient or modern, thought they did God service? The thing that counts is truth, pure God-given truth."
The 19 terrorists and all the planners thought they were doing Allah's will. Sincerity with no truth.

tiffunny said...

Great post. How true that we need to make sure every generation learns and understands history so they don't repeat it!

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