When the tragic events of September 11th caught our nation off guard, my husband and I were deployed to Kosovo as part of a peacekeeping task force mission. When I had first heard about the terrorist attacks against our country, I was on a flight with another pilot, picking up a VIP to transport to a meeting in one of the other sectors. As he and his aide climbed onto our UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, he informed us of what had just transpired back home in the states. His words didn’t quite register. It wasn’t until we were safe back at camp that we saw the devastation of what had happened.
We were glued to the TV as we watched in horror from the disturbing and heartbreaking images. All those innocent lives lost. All we could do was be silent, watch for updates, and pray for all those families and first responders affected by the horrible tragedy and the events that would follow. So many lives forever changed.
Those of us who are old enough to remember have a great responsibility to share the importance of this date in our nation’s history. Just like it is the responsibility of every previous generation before us to share details of historical events that played out in their lifetimes. Just like so many patriots before us, we must NOT let evil prevail. That is WHY we must never forget! (Joshua 4:1-9)
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
~John Stuart Mill, 1867
We started this Patriot Day with sharing details of the events of that tragic day in history. Over the years, we have showed short videos that share more behind the scenes of the courage and kindness demonstrated that day by everyday heroes. Some gave their lives trying to save others. More lives may have been lost had they not stepped in. They are the true heroes! Their legacies, a true testament to what humanity is capable of when we humble ourselves and place others’ first. (John 15:13)
We say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the Star Spangled Banner. Then we discuss what the words mean and why they are significant. We talk about the history of the flag and what it stands for. We are reminded that FREEDOM isn’t free.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
As the day goes on, we talk about what patriotism is and we work on crafts as we discuss what we are most grateful for. In addition to simple crafts, there are movies and books like these below that can help faciliate healthy discussion within the family.
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OTHER WAYS TO REMEMBER THIS DAY
-We pray for the families and friends of those who lost loved ones that day.
-We thank God for the men and women who continue to fight to defend our freedoms.
-We remember all those everyday heroes that answered the call to lend a helping hand, despite the dangers on their own lives.
-We pray for all the first responders and their families as they continue to serve our communities and protect our citizens.
-We pray for healing in our nation.
There is a revival stirring up within the hearts of every TRUE patriot here in America. It has been a tough year for our nation, but do not lose heart! CHANGE is coming AND it starts at home.
Unless the Lord Builds the House
Psalm 127:1 (ESV)
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
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