In Honor and Remembrance—Reflections 15 Years After 9/11 and Celebrating our Grandparents on Their Day

Was there a flag placed on your front lawn or flying outside your home on Sunday, September 11th? Ask that question in many cities across the country, and the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ In Bryan-College Station, we proudly respond, “Absolutely, yes!”

On that fateful Tuesday morning; national news morning shows were live as two planes struck the New York World Trade Center towers, a third plane hit the Pentagon, and brave American passengers managed to divert a fourth plane into a field, bravely giving their lives to save others.

Patriot’s Day; that’s what we call 9/11 now. Patriot’s Day, rather than a day of devastation. Fifteen years later we’ve seemingly toned down the anger—perhaps. Today’s United States of America is here, resilient as ever, but our youngest generation, born in the last decade, has listened in schools to teachers with lesson plans explaining events of 2001. What must they think of “their world” today?

It’s painful to recall. We all knew someone who knew someone who lived and worked in New York City, or at the Pentagon. No matter whether a direct connection or whether it was ‘simply’ our fellow American, these deaths impacted us all. Those who lost lives are forever heroes in our thoughts and prayers.

Today we have Patriot’s Day and again a flag flies outside our doors and offices. Yet, daily, our lives are saved and protected by our very own Hometown Heroes, Bryan and College Station firefighters, Bryan Police, College Station Police, Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, Brazos County Emergency Personnel, the 911 Emergency Response Team. Whenever we call, our heroes respond. On 9/11 we remember those no longer with us. May we appreciate and thank our own Hometown Heroes every day.

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In addition to commemorating the anniversary of 9/11, Sunday, September 11 is also known as National Grandparents’ Day. It’s a bit unfortunate that this holiday, which was established in 1978 in the United States is a late entry in the calendar, especially since sources tell us the first time a Grandma’s Day was celebrated was in Poland in 1965.

No matter how late we are to the ‘party’ so to speak, it’s still traditionally celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day. Last year it was September 13, next year, it will be September 10, and the following year, September 9.

Grandparents are, at least to children, built-in family heroes. Think about it. You get a virtual free pass for every wrong thing you do, because they tend to look a little the other way if you might make a mistake. Or, they could go completely the other direction because they might be even harder on you than your parents to make sure you mind. I was pretty lucky with both sets of my grandparents. You know the favorite thing for grandparents, though. It’s the old joke, “We love our grandchildren because we can spend time with them having fun….and then we can give them back!”

Grandparents are heroes to many of us. They show us what our parents are going to look like when they get to be their ages. It’s fun to sit for three-, and even four-generation photographs if we are lucky enough to have that many generations available to us.

Did your parents teach you to write thank-you notes to your grandparents whenever they did something special for you? Fortunately, mine did. I like to write cards by hand. Sometimes the day can get away from me and I may only have time for an e-mail or a phone call to thank someone for something, but I like to write notes and send cards just as much as I appreciate receiving cards of thanks, like the one I posted earlier this week. There’s something special about a card you can hold in your hands, read, and likely reread again when you go through files of keepsakes.

One other group of people we think of for the week ahead is the group of “adoptive grandparents,” who may not be our grandparents by birth or by blood, but for who we are their adoptive grandchildren. There are many people in this community who have become extended family to me. I’m lucky that in our community there are several people “old enough” to be my grandfather or grandmother among my friends, whose advice, regard and caring I cherish, in addition to that of my own family. Many of you are like that for many “grandchildren” in your lives as well. I know this from experience in knowing so many of you, having grown up here.

My only issue with National Grandparents Day, aside from its being somewhat neglected this particular year, is that it’s only one day a year and that’s it. Perhaps we can find time to send a National Grandparents Day card later this week, or even next month to someone who’s a caring senior in our lives and just say “Thinking of You,” because one day simply is not enough.

Cody D. Jones ’02
Owner and Community Member

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