During one of my classes this past school year, I happened to mention the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I was a little surprised my descriptions of that tragedy and its aftermath didn’t elicit the kind of reaction I expected. Not that the students were indifferent, it just didn’t seem to draw out the same emotions that I was feeling while sharing that story.
Then it hit me…they are only 14 and 15 years old. How old were they on 9/11? One? Two?
They didn’t live through that day like the rest of America.
They don’t know many of the details.
They have no emotional connection to it.
They were too young for that event to have significant meaning. It’s not their fault. It’s just the reality of when they were born.
So many people died that day. Many more fell in the resulting wars that followed, as they fought to defend our way of life. Today’s youth need to be reminded of that fact.
And not reminded simply of 9/11. But of places like the Persian Gulf, Vietnam, Korea, Normandy, Pearl Harbor and every little skirmish or incident in between where a military serviceman or woman lost their life defending the cause of freedom. These people can’t be remembered enough and it’s up to us as parents to pass that ideal on to the next generation.
If we don’t, how else will they come to learn what has been done for them? How will they learn to appreciate the freedoms they possess?
Memorial Day is more than barbeques and the beginning of summer. It’s a time to honor those who gave their life in serving our country.
To the families of those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, we say “Thank You.” Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.