Anniversary of 9/11 – An Army Mom’s Reflection

The flag in front of the Hillside Church at Sunday morning's service.

I attended a 9/11 memorial service Sunday morning at the Hillside Community Church in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.  A large American flag hung from two extended fire truck ladders on the street in front of the church where first responders and service members formed a line to greet folks entering the service.

Tears filled my eyes during the first song, “This is America”, and continued as I stood—hand over my heart—and recited the pledge of allegiance, then sang our national anthem.  I could no longer fight back the tears as the trumpeters played “Taps” to honor those who’ve died fighting the war on terror since 9/11.

People across the country spent this weekend remembering where they were on 9/11/2001 and most can recall the exact moment when they heard the news.   As I reflected on the events of that day my thoughts focused on how different my life is now—as the mother of a soldier and how personal this war has become to me.  I had no idea in 2001 that my son would enlist in the Army and ten years later be serving his third tour in a war zone, or, that I would be the co-founder of Military Families Ministry and have the honor of supporting other military families.

The duffel bags at Fort Carson on June 11, 2011 - the day Tracie's son left on his third deployment.

9/11 is much more than a tragic day in our nation’s history—it is the beginning of a decade long war that has placed an incredible responsibility on our nation’s Armed Forces.  There are many individuals who carry the burden of defending freedom for every American citizen; the fallen heroes who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice, the wounded warriors whose struggles continue, the veterans suffering with PTSD, those still fighting to defend our freedom, and the families who love each of them.

A perfect depiction of the ongoing effects of 9/11 is the duffel bags lined up at Fort Carson the day my son left for Afghanistan—a sight that has become a common occurrence over the past ten years.  I fear the full impact of that horrible day may not be known for many years.

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