I won't forget

Today me and my kids had a little lesson on peace.  We talked a little bit about what happened ten years ago today.  They are still very little so I didn't go into much detail.  I did tell them that 3,000 people died and that today we are thinking of them and their families.  We are remembering heroes and victims.  We talked about those words.  What is peace?  What is a hero?  How can we show peace?  How can we be  heroes? What makes us feel peaceful?  I gave them a picture of fingers giving the peace sign to decorate for me in a way that makes them feel peaceful.  James wasn't interested.  Ally went to work right away.  She said a rainbow was what made her feel peace.  I tried putting on peaceful music for James so he could feel what peace is like, but he wasn't in the mood.  We hung Ally's peace sign on her door so she can remember every day that peace in her life, her country, and her world starts with her.

Ten years ago today my husband called me.  He asked if my television was on.  I wasn't aware it should be.  He told me something terrible had happened.  A plane had run into a building in NY.  He had to get back to class and bid me farewell.  I went to turn on the television and then I was glued. In awe and wonder and sadness I kept watching. I saw the towers fall.  I heard the astonishment in the voice of the news anchor.  I didn't want to go to work.  I wanted to watch and try to understand.  I worked at a bank.  It was a slow day, but my coworkers and I watched television in the back room. We talked to customers about the horror.  We heard of other planes in DC and Pennsylvania.  We wondered what was happening and why.

Then answers came.  It was Al Qaeda.  I remember feeling the strength of our nation whether it was real or in my mind. I remember feeling people coming together.  The wonderful stories of heroism.  The hurting and sad stories of loss.  It seemed there were no more political parties for a moment in time.  I felt a sense of unity.

Then I remember people mad at Muslims.  Blaming them and getting back.  I thought of my dear friend who is a Muslim.  I knew she was not a part of this.  I felt sadness for how something awful turned good people against good people in some instances.  We went to war in two different countries.  I didn't understand it all as I think no one really did at that time.  I wasn't sure if I supported war or not.  I was still young.  I thought we needed to defend our nation and nations like it, but wondered if war was the only way.  I still don't understand war.  I don't like it.  I wish there were better ways.  I think there could be better ways.  I just don't have the answers to those ways and apparently no one else does either.

More time passed.  New president.  More political banter.  People seem to be more and more divided.  I can't feel the unity anymore like I felt the day of 9/11 years ago.  It seems everyone has to take a side.  No one seems to agree.  Compromise is not in American's vocabulary anymore.  I feel powerless.  I see anger in peoples faces.  I feel other countries look to us and shake their heads.  I wish we were helping and not at war.  I want to be a nation of peace.

Then today a song was sung at church.  I loved it.  It made me feel some sort of calmness among  the thoughts of my racing mind.  I read the words two or three times more.  I had to look them up and share.  

This is my song, oh God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine

This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My countries skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, 
and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

Oh hear my song oh God of all nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.   

I pray for peace on this day ten years later.  I pray for peace among all nations.  I pray for peace within my own nation as well as others.  I pray for understanding of people different than me.  I pray for love of all mankind.  I pray for more patience with my children so I can better show them peace.  I hope for peace and know I can't change others, countries, or the world, but I can change myself.


  1. What beautiful words and a beautiful lesson for the kids. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I know just how you feel....our country is so divided right now (and the politicians and television only make it worse). I loved the song you shared with us.

  3. thanks laura :] we need to all love each other a whole lot more with much more understanding and patience...i hope someday we can. Ali's peace picture is awesome!

  4. I love the message of this post. 9/11 is a hard issue for me... Thinking about it makes me feel more upset than patriotic. I guess I've just seen too much of the ugliness it caused, and not enough of the unity. I had a roommate in college who was an African Muslim, and she was such a sweet person. I think of her every time I hear someone talk about Muslims, and it always makes me sad and angry. I hate that people allow their fear to dominate them, causing them to hurt innocent people who are just as afraid as they are (and with more reason to be). I pray for that peace, too. I hope we find it someday.


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