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9/11, Sam's Speech and Good versus Evil

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , ,

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It's a slow start for me today.  One of those rare and luxurious, tea and toast in bed days, after the kids have gone to school.  I needed a rest morning and I'm taking it.  Plenty of days ahead for activity.  And I'm sitting here with my computer, facebook open and I'm struck with the beauty and solemnity of the tributes for 9/11, that day no one will ever forget.  I remember that it was a slow start for me thirteen years ago as well, heavily pregnant and covered in PUPPP rash.  It was a hot day in September and I was trying to keep myself cool when a friend rang and told me to turn on the T.V.  

Those images.

Thirteen years later it occurs to me that I should write something too on such a subject so close to my heart, and then I realise I don't have to.  Our Sam has already said what needs to be said.  

Tuesday night we had the privilege of watching three of our children perform their speeches in the school speech finals.  8 year old Abby's speech was about her favourite hobby:  the rainbow loom.  9 year old Madeline spoke about the wives of King Henry the 8th, a subject that she is passionate about.  She's already started her speech for next year which will be about Lady Jane Grey.  You'd be right if you assumed she was my mini-me.

And Sam's speech is also about his passionate interests:  Star Wars, Harry Potter, LoTR and The Hobbit, but with a twist.  He speaks to convince us why these movies and books are so important.  Dressed in his Jedi cloak, he stands confidently in front of his audience and he speaks about good versus evil, like he knows.  Because he does know.  My boy of not-quite-thirteen already knows about the evil in this world.  And it breaks my heart.  

Below is a transcript of Sam's speech, meant to be spoken with conviction (and it was--he won the senior trophy and I was not the only one with shivers running down my spine), rather than read quietly to oneself.  

Good versus evil.  The greatest battle of them all.  Which side will you choose my Padewan and Younglings?  I am a Jedi Master.  I have faced both good and evil.  I am going to tell you about this battle and its importance to us today in 2014.

Have you noticed that all the best movies have this battle of good versus evil in them?  In both the Star Wars trilogies the battle is between light and dark.  Sith take control.  Think Darth Maul, Count Duku, Darth Sidius and the most notorious of them all, Darth Vader.  All dark.  All evil which the Rebel Alliance and Jedi have to fight against on behalf of the good.

Then there is Harry Potter.  The name Tom Marvelo Riddle might not mean much to you, but when he chose evil, he became the nasty, horrible Voldemort.  Through the seven books the battle rages between good and evil, Harry Potter versus Voldemort.

And who could forget Lord of the Rings?  A fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarfs and men against the power of Sauron and his orcs and ringwraiths.  And now with the Hobbit trilogy we meet Azog the defiler and Smaug the dragon.  Again, evil, which the Dwarfs and Bilbo Baggins must try to defeat.

But why is this?  Why can’t we just enjoy the stories and movies for what they are … fiction.  Aren’t they just made up stories and characters to keep us entertained?  Is there really a Dark side? Is there really an evil Darth Vader out to conquer the universe?  And is there really a Lord Voldermort out there trying to destroy our good heroes?  Surely there are no Orcs hiding in the forests at night fighting battles for Sauron, the evil eye, watching our every move.

Well consider this.  The bombing of Malaysian Air flight MH 17 killing 298 people was not fiction.  The Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by rebels in that country—not just a fairytale.   Massacres in Iraq and Syria —not fiction.  If you’re not convinced, let’s go back a bit further.  9/11 in 2001.  The Twin Towers came down during terrorist attacks and thousands of people were killed including police and firemen.  No, this was not fiction either.  Let’s go back even further.  World War 2.  Adolf Hitler and the concentration camps:   millions of people murdered.  Definitely, not fiction

The movies we watch and the books we read about good versus evil are so important because they warn us.  Evil is very real and it is something we all have to face in our lives.  The stories help us to be prepared and help us make good choices so we are always on the right side.  The good side.

But that doesn’t mean it will always be easy.  The temptation Luke Skywalker and others face to turn to the dark side is very real.  Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be able to do this to their little sister from time to time…..

But I have made my choice.  I am choosing good.  I am choosing the way of the Jedi.  But what about you?  Which side are you choosing?

Sam Dominikovich, September, 2014

This is our tribute to the thousands who lost their lives thirteen years ago.  This is our pledge that they did not lose their lives for nothing...that if a thirteen year old boy chooses light, the side of the good instead of the evil that rages all around us, then there is hope.

There is hope.

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