So proud!!

We are in the idle of our summer vacation, the date is July 15, 2013. We are on the opposite side of the country in one of the major cities in Newfoundland…Gander of all places. We stop to visit the airplane museum, as aviation is something both the kids are interested in. We go through the museum, which is not very large, by any means, and with a 5 year old and a 7 year old, the attention to detail is the very first thing to go. We have been at the museum for about an hour, and they both ask me what mi am looking at. It was looking at a piece of the World Trade Centre. The museum was the proud recipient of an actual piece of an I beam cut from the wreckage of the 911 tragedy. This piece of iron was given to the City of Gander NL in appreciation for what they did to help the world when the US airspace was shut down to air travel. This small community on the eastern tip of Canada population doubled in just a matter of hours, due to planes being grounded. The selflessness of the people of Gander and surrounding communities made it possible for thousands of travels to have a safe haven during a time of uncertainty, and chaos. Along with the this iconic piece of gratitude, the museum had a book of letters. Every letter thanked the people of Gander, and surrounding area for their caring hospitality. I went through almost everyone of these letters, and it was heart wrenching to see the love, and thanks from around the world. There was even a letter from my own home town, from a couple who where grounded in Kansas, but wanted to write to show their appreciation for the communities for the way that they had shown the world the such an amazing representation of Canada as a country. I had never been so proud to be a Canadian.

Although this us an amazing story, and a true proud Canadian moment, the moment came as a parent as both my kids listened intently to me resell the story of 911, and walk them through the visuals of the display. They were a little afraid at first, and we discussed the fear factor, and the “there are bad people in this world” talk. They could not understand how someone could do something to hurt so so many people. (Proud moment #2). About 45 minutes later, they noticed a collection jar. She asked what it is for. I read her the sign that was with the jar, and explained that the money collected is split between helping to maintain the museum and helping those that were affected by the collapse of the towers. Again they both listened, and you could see their wheels spinning. But we continued on with the tour which ended up in the gift shop.

Each of my kids were given $50 to purchase souvenirs along the trip. Which they both did, I gave them their wallets, and they choose their own gifts, which were not the mementos that they usually choose, they choose items that they felt would help the, remember that stop of the trip (a desk piece, and a necklace). Both of their purchases were around $10. (Proud moment #3).

Then the most amazing thing (at least in my eyes) happened. My Son (who is 7) walked up to the collection jar, pulled out and pulled out a $20 bill, and asked my husband to put it in the collection Jar. My husband asked what he was doing, and Jackson’s answered floored me. He said that they need the money more then he needed souvenirs. WOW!! Both my husband and I were flabbergasted that a 7 year old would act so selfless. My Husband turned to my son, and said that his offer was very generous, and that we would give the donation, so that he could use his money for other things. This confused him a little as he watched his father place a $20 bill from his wallet, he then again opened his wallet, and gave his dad a toonie, as a Donation, saying that he wanted to give something of his. (Proud moment #4). Then to top things off he turns to his little sister and tells her that she needs to give something too, explaining that we have a lot of good things, and that it is important to share, and she as well digs in the wallet, and pulls out a toonie to place in the jar. (Proud moment #5).

What a day. They really do listen, and more importantly they understand.