We Remember: Patriot Day, and the American Flag

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

Today I'm discussing some topics that come to mind on this day every year. Some of it will be personal to me, and some of it will be about home design. If you'd like to skip to the home design part, scroll down to the first American Flag picture.

On September 11th 2001, I was 3 months shy of my 6th birthday. It was my first year of school and I loved kindergarten. Sometime prior to lunch, I noticed the teachers walking from class to class; not long after, I was called to the office, my mom had come to pick me up early. I had never left school early before so I was excited. I asked her why she came to get me, and she said "I just want to have you close to me." We walked out the door and saw my favorite custodian lowering the flags. My mom usually dropped me off early in the morning, and I had gotten used to watching him raise them. I innocently asked, "why is he taking them down?" she confessed, "it means something really bad happened."

The rest of that day my mom watched the news and loved on me. I don't recall when I began to know what was going on, but I remember asking about my dad's family. They all lived in NYC and in the summer of 2000 we road-tripped up to meet them. It wasn't until 11th grade that I realized I was the only kid in my school who had seen the towers in person.

In 2001 my dad was in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood; He would come home on the weekends to be with us, but during the week we were 2.5 hours apart. That attack drastically changed the course of his service, and the long absences that followed 9/11 dwarfed those work-weeks apart. In total, he spent 6 years away from me before I was 17. He missed out on simple things like reading to me at night, chaperoning field trips, and dropping me off at school. As I grew up, the time apart got harder, and that proved true right through his last deployment.

I was 15, going into my sophomore year of high school, and he was gearing up for Afghanistan. That deployment strained us more than anything we'd experienced before. After missing my 16th birthday, a Christmas, his 20th wedding anniversary, and plenty special moments he came home to a new house. My mom had labeled all of the light switches for him, and to this day some of those labels remain. Despite our rough patch, he brought me home a gift that I still cherish; an American flag, one with its own birth certificate of sorts. This certificate confirmed that it had been flown over Afghanistan on a combat patrol, every year it feels more special to me that I get to have it.

The flag, to me, represents the best of America; it speaks to the memory of every life lost defending it's position, it silently declares freedom in the most oppressed places on earth and reminds the world that acts of evil beg consequence.

That, everything above, is why I choose to uphold the dignity of our American Flag.