“I feel extremely lucky, extremely grateful, and a little bittersweet, too.” — Wentworth Miller
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was seven years old, getting ready for another day of Grade 2. I remember enjoying a bowl of cereal when the news came on. Mom sat on the couch, a hand clapped over her mouth.
I was old enough to understand that something awful had happened in New York that day. It made me so scared to think that terrorists could just fly over Canada and drop bombs wherever they pleased. We all felt like sitting ducks, just waiting tensely for the hit that thankfully didn’t come.
And now it’s been 10 years. Everyone has continued living their lives with the fact that yes, terrorists exist, and yes, it’s a terrifying reality, but we must keep moving forward. The worst thing Western democracies can do is accept defeat. I’m not saying the correct thing to do is to bomb the crap out of the Middle East. In fact, I’m a firm believer that the main reason Canada has not been the next big target is we have not made “The War on Terror” the next best thing since sliced bread. I’m saying that the best thing to do is live our lives as usual. Take for example one of my favourite quotes: “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the realization that there are far more important things than being afraid”. It’s important to remember that while our world is under a lot of stress and strain, there are miracles that happen. There is truth, love, and peace, even on the darkest of days.
Even on Sept. 11.
It seems strange that on a day full of tragedy, there could be such incredible happiness. Three-year old Kienan Hebert, of Sparwood, B. C., was returned home undetected at approximately 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, five days after his abduction. RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk stated that in all his years in the police force, he has never seen a child returned by the abductor. And yet, there was Kienan, found by the police in his own home after an anonymous 9-1-1 call. He played in the yard with his brothers and sisters that very afternoon, showing no signs that he had endured a traumatic experience.
I can hardly believe it. What happened in the mind of Kienan’s abductor? Where did the sudden change of plans come from? Perhaps it was from the plea of Kienan’s parents, as they promised to not charge him or even attempt to trap him – if only he returned their son. Maybe he was scared. Maybe someone paid him, who knows. But I would like to think that the voices of Tammy and Paul Hebert, choked with tears and desperation, made a difference. Like the scene in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas where The Grinch’s heart triples in size. Regardless of the circumstances, the abductor brought Kienan back. A family was repaired, a community was united, and a true miracle occurred. On Sept. 11.
Maybe it’s a Canadian thing. Maybe we’re lucky enough to have good outcomes of terrible situations. Whatever the case may be, we are so fortunate to live in this place, at this time. I hope you all take a moment to be grateful for the security, safety, and peace we enjoy in Canada. While there is mourning and remembrance, there is also incredible joy and a whole new beginning. If that isn’t bittersweet, then I don’t know what is.