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Saturday, September 11, 2010

To The Heroes




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I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...


To The Heroes


For nine years now, I have resisted the urge to write more than a few fast comments about the events of September 11, 2001. The "why" of this reluctance is clear, at least to me...

It has been simply too painful.

Why I am able to do it this year, I don't really know. Actually, I haven't a clue.

I'm not going to spend time ranting about the burning of books. I'm not going to beat you with my thoughts about building mosques. Nor am I going to force-feed you my thoughts on terrorism and how to stop it.

Instead, I want to look at the brighter side of all of this...

I doubt that any anyone has ever held the belief that firefighters and police and paramedics are not needed. But 9/11 brought this simple fact to the forefront, shoved it in our faces, and made sure that we all understand the well-deserved position these people occupy. Today, nine years on, we—as Americans—are still honoring the brave men and women who responded that day.

But there are others...

Not all the heroes in New York and Washington were police or EMTs or firefighters. Some were just "Average Joes". It has been said that heroes don't plan on being heroes...they just do what is needed and right at the time. A lot of people did that.

And any list of heroes from 9/11 must include the members of the military. Yes, there were some very public military heroes at the Pentagon, but that's not really what I mean. I'm talking about the people who are out there on the ships, in the planes, at the bases all over the world, and even in combat zones who each and everyday risk everything for us.

It wasn't long after 9/11, maybe sometime in October of 2001, that I went to brunch with a man who was in the Navy at the time. We sat outside next to a large lawn area that surrounds the restaurant, and there were children playing as their parents looked on. People that—myself included—were still nervous, perhaps expecting another plane to fall from the sky, but I noticed he was watching the kids closely as they played at games that we, as adults, couldn't understand.

I reached across the table and took his hand in mine, and I asked, "What's on your mind?"

He smiled as he turned back to face me, and gave my hand a little squeeze. "No matter what lies ahead, this is why we do it." I must have looked puzzled, because he went on after another glance towards the children...

"We have to let the children play."

The next table held a pair of San Diego firefighters and their wives, and they all lifted their champagne glasses to us, and one of the men added, "Amen to that, brother."

And that, I have come to know, is what all of the heroes of that fateful day in the fall of 2001 actually did fight for. As the song goes, "...all gave some, and some gave all..."

We have to let the children play.

And to all of the heroes, on a personal note, thank you for letting my children play.



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Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author

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