Innocence – Blog Carnival

Welcome to the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. This week’s word is: Innocence.

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The Day America Lost Its Innocence

Ten years ago this week, The United States of America lost its innocence regarding terrorism. describes innocence in five ways, two of which are:

3.  simplicity; absence of guile or cunning; naiveté.
4.  lack of knowledge or understanding.


Up until that time, terrorist attacks were something that happened in other places, something that affected other people. It was as alien to Americans as volcanoes.

Sure they happen, but we’ve never seen one, never experienced one and would never imagine that there was even the possibility that one could happen here.

America was ‘innocent’ of such things. It was naive and lacked the knowledge and understanding of what such an attack was like and how it could come to pass.

Then America’s world was shaken and its innocence was lost forever.

It seems incredible to me that it has been ten years already.

Ten years that have both dragged on and flown by.

It hardly seems real that the WTC and Pentagon attacks happened before any of my children were born. It’s gone by in a blink of an eye and yet the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which resulted from that day seem to have been going forever.

So are we ‘winning’ the war on terror?

Maybe, maybe not. It has been a decade since those first attacks and there has been nothing of the same scale since that time but in one small way, the terrorists have already won – because innocence lost can never be regained.

Once your eyes have been opened, once you have seen for yourself, you can never go back. You can never un-see, un-do, un-hear or un-feel that which has already passed.

America and, because of America’s global influence, the rest of the world, have been irreversibly changed.

Airports will never go back to their previous, virtually security-less state. The security protocols and crackdowns that have been put into place everywhere will never be taken away.

Innocence lost can NEVER be regained.

That’s the sad, sorrowful truth that Adam and Eve learned in the Garden of Eden. By partaking of the forbidden fruit, they lost their innocence. Their eyes were opened in a way they never before knew possible and there was no going back.


There is one way, one time, one opportunity to regain the innocence that we lost as a human race.

We cannot regain the innocence that 9/11 stole from us but we can regain the innocence that we lost in the Garden of Eden.

That innocence will be returned to us one day if we put our faith in Jesus Christ.

Maybe we will not be exactly the same as Adam and Eve were, I do not know how they were or exactly how we will be but I know that we are promised that there will be no more mourning or sorrow or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4) . There will be no more fear, no more violence, no more death.

We will no longer be slaves to sin, no longer oppressed and attacked by the evil one.

Innocence lost may be regained there, but here, it will always be beyond our grasp.

This week I mourn for those who died, I hurt for those who lost loved ones on that day and in the events since and I cry for innocence lost.

I am a blogger, author, stay at home dad, speaker, web hosting trainer and geek (I was so excited to get an iPad that I actually made up a song and dance about it). I am English by birth, but currently live in California with my wife and our three children. I ran a web hosting business for nine years and found that many, if not most of my clients had never learned how to use any of the functions associated with hosting so I wrote a book to try and teach just those skills. I must admit to having fallen in love with WordPress (possibly a little TOO much) and I honestly find it hard to understand why anyone would use anything different to build a site! WordPress is wonderful! My passion is to help others achieve their goals with their websites/blogs. I believe that, with a little help, anyone can have an awesome site.

20 thoughts on “Innocence – Blog Carnival”

  1. I think we were stuck in that mentality that had prevailed for more than 200 years — the oceans protected us from the madness in Europe and Asia. We learned that we had deluded ourselves.

    Good post, Peter. And thanks for hosting.

  2. My daughter was a month old on 9-11. That morning will forever be etched in my memory. We did lose our innocence, but we long for a time when we will no longer mourn.

    1. It’s interesting to me that people here still mourn so much.

      I grew up in a country where terrorist attacks were almost commonplace and people don’t remember most of them.

      Of course, America does everything bigger than everywhere else so this attack, unsurprisingly was the biggest ever seen, which contributes to it. The fervor that Americans have for their country adds to it, too.

  3. 9-11 is what I thought about too when I thought of innocence. It was definitely a day of losing innocence. I can hardly believe it’s been 10 years either. I also pray for those who remain in pain from losing family members and friends….

  4. We had televisions in our classrooms. I remember the principal telling us we could turn them on and watch the news after the first plane crash, never imagining there’d be another. I did not turn on the television. I wanted my students to be innocent of the knowledge and fear for a few hours longer… We prayed for the victims and their families throughout the day, but I would not let them watch. Many saw the footage when they went home, but I am glad that my students did not see the second plane go into the tower live (as a matter of fact, come to think of it, that means I didn’t either…).

    1. I don’t think I would have had the presence of mind to protect the children in that way… I would have been too self-absorbed and would have wanted to see it for myself.

      Great job, Helen! You did the same as the President, he was sitting with a bunch of kids at the time and his reaction was the same… protect them from fear.

  5. Peter, I hadn’t thought about that exactly–our son was not even a year old and our other children came after so they will never know the difference/innocence that we knew. Interesting to think about and great comparison between this and our sin. Thanks Peter.

  6. I love this comparison.

    We were in the middle of a move to Hawaii 10 years ago and my feelings about 9/11 have always felt unresolved somehow because I felt removed from it all.

    I was struck by your comment about growing up in another country and how being American affected our grief about this event. I just read a book about a child soldier in Sierra Leone and your comment makes sense. We really don’t understand what most of the rest of the world has been through. That doesn’t diminish our pain over our country’s losses during that time, but it changes my perspective.

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