Seventeen years ago, the nation stood still. We stopped and watched in horror as terrorists used passenger airlines to attack us. They did not come with armies of soldiers, but a handful of men who were willing to die for their cause. I still remember the call from my boss asking me to watch the television for him while he was in court. He called repeatedly for updates. His calls were the only ones that came that day. Businesses shut down, school children were picked up early from class as parents worried where the next attack would come from, and the skies were empty for days. Young children could not comprehend why their favorite shows were replaced by news. These are all memories that I still have of 9/11. Many of you might have similar memories of that day.
But there are lessons from that day, I still remember. We are no longer viewed as “king of the hill.” The world saw and learned how to attack us and bring our nation to its knees. The weakness in our armor was aired repeatedly for hours on end.
Since I was young, people have tried to teach how to protect myself. The first lessons I remember came from my father. He would teach me things of always being watchful and to never trust a stranger. I was the only girl in a family of five, and I was his daughter. My father wanted to protect me no matter what, but he knew that he could not and would not always be with me. So, he tried to teach me to think in ways that would save my life. Some of his early lessons were to always walk against traffic, know another way to get where I needed to be, or to never trust a weapon for my protection.
The last lesson is one that I still use today. Never trust a weapon for my protection. He taught me that weapons can fail or be taken from us. But our greatest tool for self defense can never be taken from us – our mind. I remember the lessons about developing a mind that could assess danger from a distance and trusting my instincts about people from the first moment. The moments he had with me trying to teach his only daughter to be safe in a world that I had no idea could be dangerous became the foundation for my instincts. It was on this day that I realized what he meant as I analyzed the events of the day and realized as a nation we forgot to watch our back.
Those lessons were later built on by my husband, who further taught me about awareness as a first line of self defense. My husband teaches a course called “Refuse to Be A Victim.” It is about learning to identify danger when it is not imminent and how to protect yourself. As I sat through his class before I started law school, I realized this was my father’s teaching. We are only a victim when our mind cannot see the danger in the distance or we surrender rather than fight. These teachings stirred up an instinct all of us are born with, I call it the “mama bear instinct.” Just a mother bear will do anything she needs to do to protect her cubs, each of us is born with similar instincts, whether we are male or female.
On this day, we vow to never forget what happened seventeen years ago, act to ensure that it never does. Enroll in a class about self defense, whether it is karate, Krav Maga, or a concealed pistol class. But don’t just train your physical body, if you want to learn how to strengthen and learn how to trust in your instincts, call (248) 676-8978 to enroll in our sponsored “Refuse to Be A Victim” class starting on October 27, 2018.