Friday, June 17, 2011

A Morning to Remember

This morning's blog post was going to be witty, fun and entertaining, but while driving along my fifty mile commute into Washington, D.C. plans changed.

"All roads leading to and around the Pentagon have been shutdown due to a suspicous package--more details to come later," said the radio announcer.

My first instinct was to flee, but I was trapped. A prisoner in the wonderful HOV lanes, surrounded on all sides by guardrails. My hitchhikers and I were only a few miles from the Pentagon when traffic came to a complete stop and there we sat, vulnerable to whatever the terrorists had planned.

Memories of 9/11 surfaced to the forefront of my mind, leaving me almost unwilling to push the gas peddle every time traffic inched forward.

On 9/11 I was stranded in D.C., forced to watch black smoke rise from the Pentagon, forced to panic about how I was going to get home, how I was going to get to my son, how I was going to survive--and this morning I was trying desperately to get there.


Our society is driven, we will not be stopped by terrorists. That's what they want.

I've spent countless hours of my life developing a strange skill which allows me to understand people--put myself in their shoes if you will--but I have never been able to figure out one of the worst human emotions: hatred.

It scares me to think I've brought children into this world while hatred is so prominent. Scares me for what kind of future they will have, if they will be stuck at work while watching what protects them burn to the ground, knowing innocent lives are lost on a daily basis for that same protection.

My biggest wish for our world is peace. I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. My children, everyone's children, deserve to grow up without fear, without murder, without war. Life should be about love and simple things like fishing, hiking, reading--things that bring joy not hatred.

I pray one day my wish will come true, because I fear for us all if it doesn't.


  1. Anonymous6/17/2011

    Sorry you were trapped on the HOV lanes. What a mess. And to know it was all caused by a couple of douche bags lurking around the Arlington Cemetary when they should have been asleep! I'm glad we have force protection keeping us all safe.

    Getting stuck in the HOV lanes is a real fear of mine. Knowing a catastrophie could strike at any moment; but, you are right, we should not be a society that stops living our lives due to the actions of terrorists.

    I wish for peace, too. It's a wonderful thing to wish & hope for. I don't think enough people voice that desire enough. If we put it out there more perhaps we could all come together to make a difference? I don't think peace is going to come anytime soon, unfortunately, but I have hope that it will come (even if in a few towns or cities around the world). In the meantime, I tend to gravitate towards places and people that are peaceful and innocent still. I also try to not watch too many television series focused around violence since there are so many disturbing things going on in the "read world." We need to take our minds off all that and focus on happy, good things. You have the joy of seeing adorable faces every day with your darling children.

    I can only imagine how worried you and all the other parents in the world must feel for the future and stability of your children. It's all in God's hands and in ours. We can make a difference! If we put goodness into the universe it will come back around to us.

    You really are a great writer!!!


  2. I'm so glad that things ended well and no one was hurt.

    I'll admit I'm not a news watcher, I just have too much other things to do and politics and bad news are at the bottom of my to do list, although they are on the middle of my list of distractions.

    For someone who lives on the opposite side of the "world" from you, I have honestly wondered how 911, the Virginia Sniper thing and this new issue really affects you. For us West Coasters, we are sincerely concerned, worried, wished that we could do something but feel powerless, and all we can do is hope for the best.

    Although, for those of you who live so close, it's a much more frightening thing. I would liken it to living in Kansas when a level 5 tornado passes through the next town.

    The fear level for you must me monumental, although you all get out of bed everyday and you go about your day, go to work, to the gym, take the kids to school and pick them up at the end of the day. They say our military personnel are the bravest people in our country, however, I have to put an addendum on that. They are the bravest trained military people, but the bravest people in the country are those of you who live these fears everyday and you do so bravely and full of courage; you do so by just living your life without the fear the terrorists are trying to instill. You East Coast folk are really the concrete breaker when the typhoons of the world bear down on us. The rest of the Americans who are, for the most part out of harms way, I'm sure I speak for them when I say you East Coast folk are the bravest inspiration for the rest of us.


  3. During the 9/11 my wife and were in NY City and was stucked there for hours and saw the smoke from the twin towers. we felt the same way you felt and we know how hard it is now for parents to have kids in this world full of hate. But our children know now that we will always survive as long as we have each other. More power to you. this is a very nice blog.

  4. Anonymous6/17/2011

    If anything good comes from this kind of evil and hatred, it's seeing the good in people. It's realizing we need to celebrate those little day-to-day moments you mentioned, to not take anything for granted, and to stop trying to be everything and just LIVE. In that, there is beauty and purpose.

    PS: Hope you had a good batch of hitchhikers today. ;c)

  5. Beautiful post. I know how you feel about your children living in such a scary world. I like to think that while the evil in some people seems more prevalent now, I think the good in the world is even stronger now too. (if that makes sense!)

  6. Yeah, I agree with you, I don't know from where people get that much hatred. Nice read :)

  7. There definitely is too much hatred in the world.

    Being stuck in traffic is the worst, but look at the beautiful post you gained from it. Touched my heart to read how you saw the smoke at the Pentagon on 911.

    Hope you had a good day.

  8. Just want to thank everyone for the comments. Sorry it took so long for me to respond. I posted this right before vacation and was electronic free while gone--for the most part.

    While 9/11 was a horrible day in America's history and opened my eyes to the evil in the world around me, it also made me realize how many good people there are in the world. If only there was a way to spread good nature as easily as hatred....

  9. Ken/Dad7/19/2011

    I am reminded of a song we sang in church in Illinois years ago,

    "It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around can warm up to it glowing"

    The complete song can be found on Yahoo, "It only takes a spark."

    I have a habit, some say good some say bad, I whistle a whole lot. One day Viola and I were in a food store in Eugene, Or. to pick up some food supplies and I was whistling a tune when a lady approached us and ask, in somewhat of a dark tone, "Why are you so happy"? I did not hesitate, I told the woman that we owed a massive debt that could never be paid in our life time and that someone paid the whole debt in full for us both. That is why
    we are so happy. I need to know that guy! the lady replied. We told her the mans name. Really!! She started to cry. Whats wrong, we asked her? The whole world is on fire and I am down to my last several dollars and I have no peace in my heart. Can we pray for you, we ask? OK she said with tears in her eyes.
    Right in the middle of the food store we prayed for the lady as other people moved around us in the main isle. When we were finished praying we ask her if she needed anything. Once again she started to cry as she told us her financial situation. We gave her some cash and told her get what she needed. You have given me so much peace and hope in my fellow man, what can I do to repay you, she ask? Pay it forward!
    Hope can be as simple as a smile, peace can be as simple as a friendly greeting or letting that car in that almost cut you off. Hope and peace is praying for your enemies when they spitefully use you. Oh, The man's name. His name can be found in the book titled,
    "Basic instructions before leaving earth"


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