The 5th grade at Payton’s school, in honor of September 11th, was asked to write an essay about their hero.
These are his words from his heart and he proudly asked me to share it with all of you.
My First Hero
There was a time in my life when I didn’t have a dad but my grandpa, I call him Opa, stepped in and filled that role for me and that is why he is my hero. Opa is a generous, kind, loving, courageous, and strong man.
Opa filled the role by giving me confidence through pep talks and always believing in me. He made me feel brave and gave me courage. I remember one pep talk that really stood out from the others. It was at my championship hockey game and he told me, “You are already a winner because you have worked harder than anybody else to get here.”
He also spent a lot of time with me like a father would. We would play catch, have sword fights, and he would also tell me stories while I sat on his lap. The story that touched me the most was about his brother, another hero, who died in battle during the Korean War.
During these special times Opa always made me feel important because he made me a priority. Whether he was building a chimney or cutting down trees, he would drop everything to spend time with me. While he was working on the projects and I was waiting for him to finish he would give tips and explain how to make the job easier.
Through adoption I now have a real dad and another hero. My dad has all the traits my Opa has. He is generous, kind, loving, courageous, strong and he is all mine. For all the things Opa has done for me and taught me he will forever be a hero in my eyes. I am a really lucky kid to have two great heroes.
I guess you could say that this momma is just a tad bit proud. Payton’s heart and perspective are so beautiful, thoughtful, and mature. We are both grateful for all the compassion, love, and support we received to get us to where we are now.
This spirit of compassion, love and support is not completely unique to our story. It was those exact traits that united Americans after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
For my son, this is a day in history and still hard to understand, but for so many of us… it is very real, very painful, and very emotional.
I remember the absolutely terrified feeling I had upon trying to comprehend that our country was attacked on its own soil and so many innocent Americans were killed. It still takes my breath away.
In the weeks and months following the attack there was a new feeling over the country… it was one of love, compassion, and support. Even though it was caused by such a tragedy, it was a sweet time for our country.
There were American flags everywhere and people had truly united.
The stereotypes seemed to fade for a while.
People were helping each other, caring for each other, listening to each other.
I found this website that is trying to carry on this spirit of kindness. Here is their 2 minute video if you would like to watch…
They are asking you to pledge to do one act of kindness on 9/11. I think this is something we can all afford.
In honor of Payton’s heart, Opa and Shane’s selfless love, and all the victims and heroes of this senseless tragedy… will you join us?
You can share your act of kindness on their site or your own social media venue and be sure to include the hashtag #911DAY.
Let’s make a difference! Let’s show these kids not only the historical side of the terrorist attack but all the patriotic side of the country.
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