As promised, Ryan held a 9/11 ceremony before our backyard hockey game last night. In fact, it was the first thing he told me when I called to say I was almost home.
“Dad, hurry up! Remember, there will be a 10-minute ceremony before the game.”
When I got home, changed, and got out there, the ceremony began. It was all I imagined, and then some.
Ryan began by introducing the evening’s special guest, Lou LeTennu (my guess is as good as yours at the spelling; we confirmed later with Ryan that he was not based on a real person). Mr. LeTennu, a former firefighter and soldier who worked to save “hundreds of lives” on 9/11 and later went on to fight for our country, was “interviewed” before the appreciative crowd that broke into “USA! USA!” chants.
Yes, it was a product of his imagination. I suspect it was based in the various “Hero of the Game” ceremonies where military members are recognized (but usually not interviewed) at sporting events Ryan has attended.
The “interview” was serious, and topical. Ryan revealed a deeper knowledge of 9/11 events — and the events that followed — than I realized he possessed.
Following the interview, Ryan held a moment of silence, during which we both stood stock-still. Like all good moments of silence, it was just long enough to feel awkward.
That was followed by the announcement of “two special songs honoring our country!”
First up was God Bless America, played instrumentally (using his voice), followed by the national anthem, also “instrumental.”
It did take at least 10 minutes, and it was a beautiful tribute. It was also an amazing look at my son’s mind, and how he draws connections to current events. I was honored to be a part of it.