We are sharing food and fellowship at my workplace today, so I decided to post this here a few days early.

Ten years ago, we lived in a different world.  I was a different person—just out of graduate school, starting a new career, single, free of responsibility (well, outside of myself), and totally unassuming about what real evil was.  That changed in an instant.

And while time has passed, the memories of that day have not.  No American escaped profound grief on September 11, or on the days following.  We still feel it.

We wonder, I think as parents especially, about raising children in a world that can seem so full of hatred, destruction, and just plain evil.  I worry about it every day, hoping to protect my son from the harshness and the cruelty in this world, but knowing I cannot.  Not from everything. 

While we certainly remember the tragic loss that day, we must also remember that this challenge to the American way of life stirred heroism.  Bravery.  Patriotism.

I won’t forget the passengers aboard Flight 93 who bravely retook the plane to prevent more loss of lives.  I won’t forget the public servants of New York City who courageously gave their own lives to save others.  I won’t forget the volunteers who worked tirelessly in the face of grief and devastation.  I won’t forget the men and women who battled in distant countries to protect our own.

These are the stories I will share with my son.  That good rises in the face of evil; that the true American spirit cannot be broken. 

We continue to mourn our dead, to remember them, to honor them.  But we remember, too, the bravery and courage of countless Americans who fought—and continue to fight—for our way of life.


Cranberry-Blueberry Cinnamon Chip Bars

Adapted from Our Best Bites  


½ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 ¼ cup shredded coconut
1 cup cinnamon chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried blueberries
Preparation Instructions:

Pour butter into a 9 x 13 pan to cover bottom.  Mix graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and nutmeg, and sprinkle over butter.  Spread into an even layer and press down gently with your fingertips.

Pour sweetened condensed milk even over graham cracker crumbs.  Continue with the remaining ingredients: coconut, cinnamon chips, white chips, cranberries, and blueberries, sprinkling each in an even layer.  Press down gently with fingertips over entire pan.

Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly and slightly golden on top.