September 11th

As I sat in health class my junior year of high school in St. George Utah, I remember watching the Twin Towers fall. So much sadness in everyones mind. I remember watching the brave men and women who gave their lives trying to save others from the rubble. All of our lives being forever changed. As a 17 year old I felt the type of sympathy most felt. Sadness for the lives lost, and the families mourning for their loved ones. 

Yesterday as I was taking my daughters 8 year old photos, we happened upon this beautiful display of flags in our home town. Each flag representing a specific first responder who lost their life on 9/11. The first one I saw was a man who’s name I can’t remember, but I remember his age. 37. Same as me. At that moment my sympathy for all those who mourned the loss of loved ones turned into empathy. Empathy as a parent. I could for the first time put myself in their life situations. Maybe on that day they were going to take their daughter to get her photos taken? Maybe that weekend they had plans to go fishing?

This man didn’t get to see his children grow up. Watch them get married. Have babies. As we scanned all the flags around us none of them got the chance to watch their families grow up. I felt overwhelmingly blessed and fortunate that I am here with my family in this country at this time. I am proud to be an American. I am also very blessed to know who I am. I am a Child of God. He doesn’t love me any less or any more than the next person. But each of us has our own talents, abilities, and passions here on earth. We have the choice to use them in any way we want. This man chose to give his life in service. Service to his God, His country, and His fellow man. I am so grateful for all those men and women who fight for our safety and freedom.