Friday, September 10, 2010

September 11 - Let Freedom Ring

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


  1. I have no words today to express how I feel about this post as nothing I say can convey our thoughts as we always remember and never forget.

  2. Thank you for the excellent post, Kim. It brought tears to my eyes.

    As a Navy vet who's past her prime, :), I'm so grateful to those who serve, and sacrifice, so that the rest of us may continue to live in freedom.

    May they be honored today, tomorrow, and always.

  3. Great post, Kim. Spooky about the ground breaking date for the Pentagon. I'll never forget 9/11 as long as I live. We were glued to the TV for almost three days up here in Vancouver. The weirdest thing was stepping outside and never hearing an aircraft overhead. We live in one of YVR's busier flightpaths, and hearing nothihg but silence overhead was a constant reminder that our world was about to change forever.

    Thanks to you and your hubby for your service!


  4. Thank you Kim for such a great post. You've said it better than I ever could. My thoughts/prayers to those that lost their lives on that day and to those that are helping to keep us safe.

  5. Kim interesting that you found all that wonderful history that happened on 9/11. I remember that day I was at work and a customer came in the store and told us a plane just flew into the World Trade Center. I asked him what caused it, was it the weather an accident, he didn't know but then when he finished fueling he said another had flown into the towers. We tried watching on a tiny black and white tv with poor reception of rabbit ears. I spent the next two days I was off glued to the tv catching myself crying for what seemed to be no real reason.

  6. Kim, thanks for your post. I'd like to thank all of our service people for continuing to help keep this a wonderful, safe, free country. And my heart goes out to those who've lost someone during war.