Eight years ago, today, America faced an unforgettable and unpredictable tragedy. It was such a jarring event that most people can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when the news about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center first broke over the air waves.
America has never been the same since that day.
So many things have changed: commercial air travel, airport security, and domestic military operations, to name a few.
I starkly remember that overnight, our “peacekeeping” training missions changed in a heartbeat to pro-active and intense air defense missions.
Parents hugged their children a little tighter that night.
Couples embraced more sincerely and more frequently.
Otherwise empty churches were suddenly standing-room only.
Neighbors became a little more vigilant and neighborly.
And then, time trickled by and unearthed a little complacency and neglect.
It’s been eight years, and some folks say it’s been long enough. But, it’s not long enough if we forget to learn from our past in order to protect our future.
Complacency yearns to stuff itself inside like a warm, down-filled blanket that shields against the cold and dark.
I’M going to hug my son a little tighter.
Kiss my husband a little longer.
Thank my brothers and sisters in arms who keep our freedom free.
May we never forget.