As America awoke this morning, we were all faced with the terrible reminder that we are still at war, and that evil desperation still threatens the peace and beauty of the world. Yes, it brings tremendous anxiety and stress.
My initial reaction was to think of how proud I was of the valuable work that men and women in our security forces, whether here or abroad, do every day to keep families safe from these evil doers.
Then I became sad, because it reminded me of 9/11, as well as the 7/7 bombings, where thousands of people perished, and the deep scars that these events left on the souls of their families and on humanity in general.
I called my family at our summer home to tell them about this breaking news. My 10-year-old boy answered the phone and he seemed quite alarmed;
"Hey dad, is everything alright?"
"Why?" I asked.
He continued, "Because I was watching TV and they interrupted the program to show some pictures of airplanes and they were talking about terrorism. Is everything OK?"
For a moment I thought, how do I answer? Do I try to explain the whole story, or do I downplay the seriousness of the situation? I followed my instincts and the respect I have for my child.
"Son, some bad people were caught trying to do some bad things, but a lot of smart people were ready, and they took great action to protect us all."
Then, the questions 10-year-olds always seem to have: “Dad, how did they do it?”
“Well, the details are not available yet, but our people are very capable, they have a lot of fancy machines to catch these bad people, and there's a lot of cooperation between countries.”
“Yes, it's like when you play football and your coach tells you that in order to win, your team has to play together as a team — well, good people all over the world are doing that in order to win, and today we scored a touchdown.”
We said goodbye, but before I was able to hang up, he said, “Daddy, be careful.”
I felt sad all over again, because it reminded me that my boy knew that we could also fumble the ball.
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