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The Headline of the Baltimore Sun on September 12, 2001

It’s been nearly 10 years since I woke up to find the above headline in the newspaper on my parent’s front porch.  It was the day after the worst day of many American’s lives.  The day after the worst terrorist attack on American soil in our country’s history.  I think I read every word of the paper that day.  I was 19 and had a lot to learn, but I knew that day was going to be an important milestone in the story of the United States.  So I kept that newspaper.

This morning, when I heard the news that US Navy Seals had successfully executed an operation to kill Osama Bin Laden, I thought about that newspaper.  I wasn’t personally affected by the actions of 9/11.  I didn’t know anyone who lost a loved one and I wasn’t in New York or DC to see it happen myself.  But I, like millions of other Americans, was damaged in some way by the tragedy.  I followed the news stories very closely during the weeks and months after that September day and really wanted to have some sort of documentation as a historical keepsake.  The paper served that purpose and today, I opened it up and read a few lines from the front page stories.

It’s surreal to look back on the headlines of that day and realize that none of us knew how different our world would be 10 years later.  We knew the devastation, we knew the destruction, but we had no idea the aftermath that would continue to this day. 

For those who lost loved ones on that fateful day, perhaps this day brings some sort of closure.  Perhaps not.  For the country as a whole however, I think it serves as a rallying point.  So many people have lost their lives fighting a war against terror and the “lack of progress” has caused a massive rift throughout the country.  I believe this milestone will bring people together again, much like the days and weeks following the tragedy itself, and remind us that we are one nation, a strong nation.  Evidence of this was seen last night as people flocked to the White House and Ground Zero to celebrate with complete strangers and feel a sense of achievement again.  It feels good to be an American every morning, but it feels great this morning.

Now I don’t want to end this post on such a serious note.  I had planned to fill you all in on my latest writing project this morning, but the news of the day took precedent.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, this blogging experience has released a passion for writing that I’ve kept dormant for a long time.  As I continue to look for ways to explore this passion and possibly turn it into more than just a hobby, I’ve reached out and dipped a toe into the world of freelancing.  As of Friday afternoon, I received the approval for my first job.

I’ve been accepted as an “Examiner” for www.examiner.com, a national online newspaper of sorts with local subsections full of local writers like me.  The Baltimore Examiner has brought me on as…get this…a family/parenting expert.  I know, I know, its ridiculous right.  I’ll give you a minute to control your laughter.  Better?  Ok.  So I sent them a link to this fabulous blog you’re reading and they felt I would be a good source of family advice.  I’m not sure if this is a late April Fools Day joke or what, but I went ahead and sent them my first article and they published it, so I guess its real. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to attach the link to my new page on Examiner.com so you can go ahead and bookmark it and visit it often.  Oh, and here’s the kicker…they actually pay me for this.  I think its something like a third of a half of a penny for each visit to the page.  Not bad, right?  Anyway, I don’t do it for the money, it’s for the kids.  So here’s the link, http://www.examiner.com/family-in-baltimore/jim-chaney; feel free to send it to anyone who likes to get bad advice about dealing with kids and things to do with kids in the Baltimore area.  I promise to do my best not to lead you too far astray.  I also promise not to neglect you, my loyal readers, by not blogging anymore.  I’ll still be here, attempting completion of my 30 Before 30 list, and I still need your help.  Man, you guys got a lot of work to do; now you have two websites of mine to push on your unwilling friends and family.  Well, good luck!

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