This morning, my youngest child got out of bed, got dressed and rather than eating breakfast opted to parade around our house waving a small American flag. As he stood proudly waving the flag wearing his Superman shirt on this 12th anniversary of September 11, I felt that sinking feeling I get when I remember the tragic events that occurred on this date in 2001. I think back to how sad and worried I was for all of the victims. After the shock subsided, I felt concerned for our nation’s future and the type of world my children would grow up in. Now, 12 years later, I still feel sad about what happened on that day, but I feel more optimistic about our future. And for the reason, I need only to look around me when I am at Walker.
Today our students are wearing red, white and blue. It is a patriotic sight as they express their love for America and honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I am proud of my school and that my daughter is a part of it. We are reminded of our freedom, our soldiers who stand ready to defend us, and those families who lost loved ones in those unthinkable acts of terrorism that occurred on that date. Our students, though most of them were too young to understand in 2001 or perhaps not even born yet, observe this day and appreciate our freedom.
I think about three Walker alumni, John Herina, Ross Hermann, and Conner Deebel, who were recently featured in the MDJ for graduating from service academies. They will go on to make a difference and in a huge way, defending and leading our country through their military service. They will make decisions that will impact our safety. Other Walker students have made or will make commitments like them. Knowing that our students will take on these important leadership roles makes me feel positive about our future.
I am proud to know that the result of a Walker education is that we send “admirably honest young adults thoroughly prepared for the intellectual and relational challenges of college and life” out into the world. I am also proud to live in a country where a Walker education is possible.