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  • The Making of a Hero

    Is 9/11 our generation’s Kennedy assassination? I don’t mean my question in a cavalier sense. I mean it in the sense that all day today, people described where they were when they first heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center.

    I certainly remember where I was – in our apartment, watching the news while getting ready for work, at first thinking it was a horrible accident and only later discovering it was terrorists. I remember watching the towers collapse. And I remember, later, being moved to tears by the heroism of the Flight 93 passengers.

    There are heroes everywhere.

    When I was growing up, I loved heroes. I loved action adventure stories about people who were brave and courageous and did great deeds. As I got older, I devoured the first ten or fifteen Tom Clancy books, and the Star Trek and Star Wars novels, which were fairly new at the time. My favorite TV show when I graduated from college was JAG. I dreamed of becoming a CIA agent or working for the FBI. I even applied to a summer JAG program during my first year of law school.

    I always knew I’d want to be a wife and mom someday, but growing up, I always thought I’d have some exciting, heroic career too. That didn’t happen. And now I find myself feeling grateful that I’ve lived such a blessed life that my courage has never been truly tested, that I’ve never had to make a life or death decision like whether to go into a burning building to try to save someone or try to take out a terrorist holding a weapon so he can’t hurt anyone else.

    As a mother, I can’t help hoping that my children will be equally safe. I don’t want them to ever find themselves in the position of having to make a choice like that.

    And so I marvel at the women and men who have made those choices. They have my deepest gratitude and admiration. I am thankful to their parents too, for teaching their children well and letting them go.

    I’m off to make a donation to one of my favorite charities, the USO. I really like donating to the Operation Phone Home program – 100% of the funds raised goes toward the purchase of international calling cards so troops can talk to their families. And while I make my contribution, I’ll be listening to fellow USO supporter Toby Keith’s song, “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue.”


    1. It's sad that we send our troops off to fight… and then charge them to call home? Really? I just assumed they could pick up a phone on base and call, no questions asked. Thanks for adding that tid bit of information to your post. I had no idea.