Heed the Warning

My sons were so young. The older son was not even ten years old, and the younger was less than five. We were homeschooling, but I had been quite ill for a while. So that morning, I was still in my bed when the phone rang. It was my dad. He told me that I needed to turn on the news immediately.

Being the boys they were, my sons were running in and out. It was a good thing. I certainly didn’t want them to see what I was seeing. I hadn’t had the television on but for a few minutes when we saw the second plane fly into the south tower.

Eventually, my sons started wondering why we weren’t doing our school work and they saw what was happening. I had to do some fast thinking and damage control to draw their focus away from the tv, but they had seen enough to know it was bad.

That really was a very confusing day. It was followed by several more very confusing days. Until then, I had never paid any attention to Islam or Muslims in my community. A few days later, at the memorial service, one of the speakers prayed to “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Mohammad.” I had never heard of Mohammad.

When I think back to how uninformed and uneducated I was then, it frightens me. I had to call a friend from church to find out that Mohammad was the prophet of Islam and the founder of the religion. I spent the next fourteen years making certain that my sons would not be so ill-informed on any major national issue.

We chose to take action because of that day, and many good things have come from it. Both of my sons are pursuing a military career. My older son is already a sergeant in the Army, while the younger son is at boot camp to become a Marine. They both understand the importance of service and proudly serve our nation.

On that September morning so long ago, I tried to protect my sons from the scenes on television that were pouring in from New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Pennsylvania. While they didn’t see much that day, they have seen it since. My younger son has watched the videos of that day. He thinks they should be replayed often as a reminder to the people of our nation that we have lost God’s protection and that we have an enemy who would seek to destroy us. Those events are the impetus for his desire to be a Marine, fourteen years later. He will never forget.

There is never a time in our household in which only one person knows about a national issue – we all pay attention to the news via multiple media outlets. We discuss current events often. We listen to what our elected leaders say, but we pay attention more closely to what they do. Both sons can explain issues at national, state, and local levels.

My sons are both very conservative in their political beliefs, and both have voted every time they were eligible to vote. They research candidates and issues prior to casting their vote for anything or anyone, and they vote for the best candidates.  They know how to vote and why they believe the way they do.

It was because of that day that I now hold an elected office. If someone had told me 14 years ago that I would ever run for office, I would have called them a name. But after that day in September, 2001, I started paying closer attention to my government, political issues, candidates, history, and current events. I ended up teaching junior high and high school aged homeschool students – history, government, economics, current events, and civics. It was some of those students and parents who convinced me to run for office.

September 11, 2001 has become the “day that will live in infamy” for our generation. But “what Satan intended for evil, God intended for good.” There are so many lessons that have been, and can be, drawn from that day.

The events of that day were allowed by God (not pre-ordained or planned, but permitted) as a warning to us. There is too much scriptural and secular evidence to indicate that this was a warning to think anything else. The proper response when receiving a warning is to take action. My family has taken action. Too bad our nation did not heed the warning.

~Temerity Dowell


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