|Photo by Thomas Franklin, The Bergen Record|
This weekend, Americans will reflect upon an event that defined our future. On that fateful day, I was living in Florida with our children while my husband was working in Japan. I watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
But America picked itself up, brushed off the dirt, and went back to work. We mourned the deaths of innocent families and resolved to protect our freedom. The terrorists did not deter America.
One month later, my husband came home for scheduled leave. We attended the Air Force/Navy football game in Annapolis. As the National Anthem was played, a formation of older Navy aircraft flew over the stadium. The older aircraft meant that the newer aircraft were otherwise engaged. The retaliatory strikes began the next day.
One year later, we moved to the Netherlands. My husband worked for NATO and coordinated the deployment of multinational troops to Afghanistan for security assistance. As part of community outreach, NATO personnel asked the international spouses to collect items for Afghan orphanages. I shipped the items donated by the American community except for the paperback books with English text.
A book with a blue cover and red tartan caught my eye - Cathy Maxwell's A Marriage Contract. Her story spotlighted a clan's struggle for survival following the Jacobite rebellion. The afterward featured the hero's descendants attending the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Cathy's story reminded me that the struggle for freedom has spanned many ages. Three years later, I met her when we moved to Baltimore. I was pleased to learn that Cathy is a Navy veteran, spouse, and mom. Her book converted me to romance - a genre that believes in Happily Ever After (HEA).
Freedom guarantees that we all have a HEA.
September 11, 1297 – Battle of Stirling Bridge
William Wallace led Scottish patriots to defeat the English Calvary during the War of Scottish Independence.
”We come here … to set our country free.”
700 years later, on September 11, 1997, Scottish voters overwhelming approved a referendum to create an independent Scottish Parliament, the first step to fulfilling William Wallace's dream of a free Scotland.
September 11. 1709 – Battle of Malplaquet
John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, led the Allied Forces to defeat the French Army during the War of Spanish Succession. Six generations later, Marlborough’s nephew would rally the English people in their darkest hour.
”We shall never surrender,” Winston Churchill during the Battle of Britain.
September 11, 1814 – Bombardment of Baltimore
After burning Washington DC, the British fleet sailed into the Baltimore Harbor. Two days later, the British bombarded the city, inspiring Frances Scott Key to write a poem about Old Glory flying over Fort McHenry:
“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
September 11, 1814 – Battle of Plattsburg
Navy Commandant Thomas MacDonough repelled the British forces from Lake Champlain, securing the US’s northern border during the War of 1812.
"Impressed seamen call on every man to do his duty,"
September 11, 1941 – The Army breaks ground to build the Pentagon.
September 11, 2001 – Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon
September 11, 2008 – President Bush unveiled the Pentagon Memorial
”America will never run … and we will always be grateful that liberty has found such brave defenders.”
In memory of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and during the global war on terror.
In appreciation of the Americans and our allies, military and civilians, who tireless work to defend our democracy.
We are indebted to you for the freedom you give us.
Kim in Hawaii
|WTC Flag in Afghanistan|