A Father's 911 Letter to His Children

Dear Children,

Within the brain of almost every living American there are dates that are indelibly etched there, numbers that are as real to us as figures written into a granite stone. We carry these dates with us in our heads until we at last rest under the stones bearing our own final numbers: December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor). November 22, 1963 (Pres. Kennedy assassination). . . . And now, September 11, 2001.

Your mother asked me to write something about this last date, so that when you get older we can talk about how it felt back then, what it was like to live through that terrible day and the long days and nights that followed. So that she and I might have something to look back to, when you begin to ask the questions that will come.

To the hard question that you will ask: "Why Daddy?" I have no answer. I don't think that in my lifetime anyone will be able to answer that one. Your lives may come and go, too, before someone can at last explain. How do you begin to apply logic, or common sense, to such utter madness? Your father does not know.

As I write you just three days after this horrific disaster, I have many unanswered questions of my own. And at this early date there is so much that remains unknown. But in trying to look ahead and prepare for the day that will come, the day that you sit on my knee and say: "Today we talked about the World Trade Center in school. What do you remember, Daddy?" I know that I will tell you this: I was afraid.

"Daddy afraid?" You ask. Yes, children, and the fear that I feel today grows upon me like a small irritation in the eye. At first it is just an annoyance. But the more you work at it, the harder you rub, the more uncomfortable it becomes until at last you are overwhelmed by the pain.

Kids, I would be lying to you if I said that it is not my own life that I fear for. I'm only forty-two years old, and although that may sound ancient to you, it's a terribly young age to die. But even if I was to die today, I would have lived a fairly full life. My fear, my beloved children, my gifts from God, is that we may now be living in an age where you may not be given the chance to reach this age. This is the very heart of my fear.

I fear that your mother and I have brought the three of you into a world where you can no longer come and go as you please, where safety and well-being are no longer things that can be taken for granted. I fear that I will spend each and every day for the rest of my life wondering if this is the day, the day that one of you fails to return home alive.

The world changed in a moment September 11, 2001. It took just eighteen minutes to go from praying that it was an accident to knowing that evil had taken on a new face and that all of the old rules had changed. Everything became suddenly darker when those billowing black clouds of smoke drifted across the sky of New York, of Washington, and of Pennsylvania. The shadows that they cast fell upon the hearts of every American who has one. And how quickly we learned, my children, to tell the difference between Americans with hearts and those without.

Even as the tapping of survivors could still be heard coming from under the rubble of the wreckage, there were people whose only thoughts were of how to add to the mayhem. They called in false bomb threats, to the airports, to bridges, to the sites of devastation in New York and at the Pentagon, costing rescue workers to lose valuable time, perhaps even costing life itself. God Himself will deal with these people; I will say no more of them.

Let me instead tell you of the heroes. The people of true heart. Thousands upon thousands of them. Firemen, police and port authority personnel. Civilians. People with no other vested interest than that of caring for their fellow man. Men and women who, despite the overwhelming danger, rushed forward, towards harm's path, trying to help the wounded, and many of whom ultimately gave their lives. People from across the country who, wanting to do something, anything, stood in line for hours waiting to donate blood. Rescue workers who stayed awake and at the sites for not just hour after hour, but for days.

From this amazing display of resilience, children, I think that I can find something to help me move forward too. All is not lost. Kids, did you know that your father once worked in a steel mill? It is there that I learned the word tempered, and I would like to tell you a little something about it. Steel is not very strong children. Not until you expose it to extreme heat, that is. Then once the steel is cooled by placing it in water, it becomes amazingly strong. Tempered.

My very soul has been tempered. Heated to the extreme by the massive fireballs that engulfed the World Trade Center. Then cooled to ice like temperatures by the thought that someone dare bring this terror to our homeland. I am further strengthened by the acts of those gallant firemen whose unselfish bravery left so many of them lying buried beneath tons of concrete, dead or dying. How can I let fear drive my actions now when so many others have acted so fearlessly?

With these actions to guide me, this is how I will brave our dangerous new world. I will not cower before thugs. I will not bend to the will of terrorist. I will be ever mindful of the new dangers we face, but I will not let the mindless action of madmen determine my fate. I will stride ever forward determined to do the very best for you that I am able. I will protect you from harm where I can, and pray to God to protect you where I can't. And I will place all of my faith in Him to help us along our way.

May God watch over you, my children. May He bless our family, our friends, and our country.

I love you.
Dad

"Solidarity"

Notes: I and my wife, Lois, will never forget watching the live TV feed in the early hours of morning's darkness in our home in Los Angeles as the first passenger plane crashed into the first Trade Center Tower.   We thought how horrible an accident!   When the second plane crashed into the other Trade Center Tower, we knew they were no accidents.   We knew that all our lives had been changed by acts that will..."live in infamy."   I hope the reader will permit me the right to publish the following article that reflects most Americans' belief in a higher authority than the small minds that created those horrible acts.   As my Father used to say, "I believe something created this universe." and "It takes more energy to create than to destroy." End of Notes:

Do you know the Preamble for your state?
 
Interesting:
 
...be sure to read the message at the bottom!
 
Alabama 1901, Preamble We the people of the State of Alabama , Invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution.
 Alaska 1956, Preamble We, the people of Alaska , Grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.
 Arizona 1911, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arizona , Grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
 Arkansas 1874, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arkansas , Grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...
 California 1879, Preamble We, the People of the State of California , Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...
 Colorado 1876, Preamble We, the people of Colorado , With profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe...
 Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.
 Delaware 1897, Preamble Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and s servings their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.
 Florida 1885, Preamble We, the people of the State of Florida , grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution...
 Georgia 1777, Preamble We, the people of Georgia , Relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...
 Hawaii 1959, Preamble We, the people of Hawaii , Grateful for Divine Guidance ... Establish this Constitution.
 Idaho 1889, Preamble We, the people of the State of Idaho , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings.
 Illinois 1870, Preamble We, the people of the state of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
 Indiana 1851, Preamble We, the People of the State of Indiana , grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.
 Iowa 1857, Preamble We, the People of the State of Iowa , Grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution.
 Kansas 1859, Preamble We, the people of Kansas , Grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.
 Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties...
 Louisiana 1921, Preamble We, the people of the State of Louisiana , grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.
 Maine 1820, P preamble We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity. And imploring His aid and direction.
 Maryland 1776, Preamble We, the people of the state of Maryland , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...
 Massachusetts1780, PreambleWe..the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction.
 Michigan 1908, Preamble le. We, the people of the State of Michigan , Grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom establish this Constitution.
 Minnesota, 1857, Preamble We, the people of the State of Minnesota , Grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:
 Mississippi 1890, Preamble We, the people of Mississippi In convention assembled, grateful to Al mighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.
 Missouri 1845, Preamble We, the people of Missouri , With profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness. Establish this Constitution...
 Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana , grateful to Almighty God for the Blessings of liberty establish this Constitution.
 Nebraska 1875, Preamble We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom. Establish this Constitution.
 Nevada 1864, Preamble We the people of the State of Nevada , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution..
 New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
 New Jersey 1844, Preamble We, the people of the state of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
 New Mexico 1911, Preamble We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty.
 New York 1846, Preamble We, the people of the State of New York , Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.
 North Carolina 1868, Preamble We the people of the state of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty y God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those...
 North Dakota 1889, PreambleWe, the people of North Dakota , Grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...
 Ohio 1852, Preamble We the people of the state of Ohio , Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common...
 Oklahoma 1907, Preamble Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this
 Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences
 Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble We, the people of Pennsylvania , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance...
 Rhode Island 1842, Preamble.We the People of the state of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing...
 South Carolina, 1778, Preamble We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
 South Dakota 1889, PreambleWe, the people of South Dakota , Grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties.
 Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...
 Texas 1845, Preamble We the People of the Republic of Texas , acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
 Utah 1896, Preamble Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.
 Vermont 1777, Preamble Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man.
 Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVIReligion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other
 Washington 1889, Preamble We the People of the State of Washington , grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution
 West Virginia 1872, PreambleSince through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia Reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ...
 Wisconsin 1848, Preamble We, the people of Wisconsin , Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility...
 Wyoming 1890, Preamble We, the people of the State of Wyoming , Grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution.
  
 After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe, the ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong!  If you found this to be 'Food for thought' send to as many as you think will be enlightened, as I hope you were. And who picked the Supreme Court anyway?
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