Andrea and I took Benjamin and Matthew to the Villanova/Lehigh football game here in Bethlehem, PA. Just before the National Anthem, they held a moment of silence to commemorate and remember the September 11th attacks. As the stadium stood silent, I watched my sons digging in the dirt and laughing as they searched for dinosaur bones. There was such an innocence there in their playing that seemed to be in such stark contrast to the images that were playing through my mind about that day. I was happy to be wearing sunglasses so they couldn’t see the tears in my eyes.
One of the things that I remember most about that day was watching the coverage that night thinking about my sister and brothers who, between them, had eight children under the age of 10. I wondered how they were explaining to their kids what was going on. I wondered what was going through their children’s little minds and how much they saw and how much they understood. I remember saying a prayer for them.
Nine years later I wonder how long I can protect my sons from knowing the kind of hate and evil that exists in this world. I wonder when they will first learn what happened on that day. I wonder if I’ll be able to explain to them what it means. “Why,” is the most popular question from their mouths about any and every subject. Nine years later, I still can’t comprehend why it happened and I pray that God gives me an answer to that inevitable question from their lips.
The only thing I feel I can do is to fill their lives with love and surround them with solid values. I know I need to raise them with faith in a loving, peaceful God. Explain to them that there is more good in this world than evil. Teach them to be understanding and respectful of other and their beliefs.
And pray that they never have to witness such a day.