My youngest two were still in bed asleep. All four of my children will learn the details of that day through news stories, documentaries and history books. But here are a few things I want them to remember.
1. There is evil in the world. Monsters and bad guys are real. There are people out there who want to do us harm and we have to do all we can to protect ourselves from those people. Some will be terrorists who try to scare you into staying home and living in fear. Others are wicked people who will try to trap you into addictive behaviors, like drugs or pornography. Others will bully you and try to make you feel smaller than you are. They're all bad guys and you need to protect yourself from them.
2. There is good in the world. Sublime, brilliant good. There are people who love you and will do whatever they can to help you. There are also people who don't know you, who would step in and rescue you with no thought for themselves. Be some of those people. Lose your life serving both those you know and those you don't know. Be a light that guides others to safety and a hand that lifts others up. And be grateful for those who do it for you.
3. Value your freedom. There are many kinds of bondage. Do what you can to be self-reliant. Be responsible for yourself and those entrusted to your care. Do all you can politically to keep the government off your back, but realize that the greatest bondage there is is self-imposed. Be free of bad habits and addictions. Steer clear of relationships that drag you down. Keep your mind free of doubts and dark thoughts.
4. Don't live in fear. Have joy and enthusiasm. Travel. Learn. See new places and try new foods. Don't let the evil of a few force you into a dull and unadventurous life. Live your life with gusto.
5. Remember that there are a few people who you can always turn to who will always love you. Two of those are your dad and me, but even above us is your Heavenly Father and your Savior. Turn to them first and always!
I love you.