Lee County, Georgia, held a special ceremony honoring the First Responders locally and remembering the sacrifice of the First Responders in the 9/11 attacks ten years ago today. I was proud to be in the crowd.
The other day I posted on a Tom Dziubek's Facebook page: "I think we are more judged by what we stand for, and against, than for what we allow. Telling a child about 9/11 means dealing with the existence of bad in the world but also the strength and community that bound America together in the aftermath. I strongly feel that the more we, as a nation, stand up and remember the more we, as a nation, deter it from ever happening again. When all races, creeds, and life-styles join together and say "Touch any of us and we'll all kick your $%$%$%!" The less of a target of choice we become."
How do you tell your kids about anything? With openness and truth. Parents are responsible for educating their children on the basics of life: why drugs are bad, why sex is special between a husband and wife, and why patriotism is a good thing. There is a strength in clarity that is tempered with wisdom and love. The terrorist attacks on America were wrong but we are no less wrong if we degrade people with no connection to the attacks. Tell your kids that bad people attacked America and that we are seeking justice. Tell your kids that making a bad choice has a bad consequence. Passionately affirm your kids when they make good choices and joyfully celebrate them when they stand for the right thing against the odds and their peers.
As Mark Twain said: "Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." Do right in your home and model it for your kids. Live your life in a way that astounds people.
And never forget.