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Decades of evil. Decades of courage. Decades of prayer.

There is no way to write an adequate tribute or commentary on September 11, 2001. Yes, I remember where I was when I found out. My four children were at school. All I wanted to do was rush and pick them up and hold them close. Yet, I stayed put. I let them finish their school day. I knew our world had changed forever. However, after sending my husband to war nearly a decade earlier, I knew how important it was to keep as much of life's normal routines intact. I was first and foremost a military wife. I knew that my husband's military mission would not include directly fighting this fight. But I knew that someone's husband or wife, father or mother, would fight it. I fell to my knees and prayed. Countless decades of the Rosary passed through my fingers as I watched the fire, smoke, and devastation unfold on television.

What I could not anticipate is that on the tenth anniversary of this horrific evil, the soldier fighting the fight would be my son. My oldest is deployed to Afghanistan.  He was the little boy who was four-years-old when the combat started in Desert Storm. He sat and watched CNN with me and when he saw my tears start to fall, he marched to the television screen, pointed to the map of the Middle East, and said, "Look, Mom. Iraq invaded Kuwait. Daddy is doing his job. He is going to push Iraq back. He has to be there." Nothing like having your four-year-old show more courage than you do. So the tears stopped.  We still had family dinners, playtime, and weekly Mass. The Rosary was our constant prayer. We rejoiced when Daddy came home. My oldest son was a skinny high school kid when the Twin Towers fell. He knew the fight was continuing.Now he is a muscular full-grown man wearing body armor and carrying a weapon half way around the world. He still shows more courage than I could ever muster.

His wife now has my role. She guards the home fires and keeps their daughter happy and healthy. I do my best to support her because I have been in her shoes. I know my husband went to war hoping it would save his children from having to fight this battle. I am sure my son likewise hopes that his children never have to face the horror of war. What I have learned over these decades is there is no shortage of evil. What I pray is that with God's grace, there will be no shortage of courage. Perhaps even more importantly, may there be no shortage of wisdom. As the decades of my Rosary continue, may decades of peace follow.

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