Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you?

On September 11, 2001 two planes hit each of the towers of the World Trade Center.  A third crashed into the Pentagon.  And a fourth was driven to the ground in a field in Pennsylvania by the brave men and women aboard, determined that their plane would not become another instrument of death.  Thousands of lives were lost.  And our would was changed forever.

Today we remember those awful moments when we first heard about what happened in New York, in Washington and in Pennsylvania.  We grieve for those who were called home far before their time.  We celebrate the heroes that emerged, the people who gave up their own lives so that another family wouldn't lose their loved one.  We thank those who answered the call of their country and went to fight for freedom of our world.  And we say to those enemies of peace "WE ARE NOT AFRAID!"

The following is an original poem, author unknown, that was posted on an online journal-keeping group I belonged to slightly less than a month after the 9/11 attacks.  To the men, women and children who lost their lives that day, and to all those who have lost their lives since fighting for peace and freedom, this is dedicated.

Two thousand one, nine eleven,
Five thousand plus arrive in heaven.
As they pas through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait.

A bearded man with stovepipie hat
Steps forward saying,
Let's sit, let's chat."

They settle down in seats of clouds.
A man named Martin shouts out proud,
"I have a dream!" and once he did.
The Newcomer says "Your dream still lives".

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray,
Others in khaki and green then say,
"We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine."
The Newcomer says "You died not in vain."

From a man on sticks one could hear,
"The only thing we have to fear..."
The Newcomer says "We know the rest.
Trust us, sir, we've passed that test."

"Courage doesn't hide in caves.
You can't bury freedom in a cave."
The Newcomer had heard this voice before,
A distinct Yankees twangs from Hyannisport shores.

A silence fell within the mist.
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hears of five thousand plus that day.

"Back on Earth we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sport,
Worked our gardens, sang our songs,
Went to church and clipped coupons.

"We smiled, we laughed,we cried we fought.
Unlike you, great we're not."

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said "Don't talk like that!"
"Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedome just like me."

Then before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams.
Death, destruction, smoke and dust,
And people working just 'cause they must.

Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in Hell but not alone.

"Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman.
Side by side helping their fellow man!"
So said Martin as he watched the scene.
"Even from nightmares can be born a dream."

Down below three fireman raised
The colors high into ashen haze.
The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima in '44.

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly.
"I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow - but I do not see fear.

You left behind husbands and wives,
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong,
But look very closely - you're not really gone.

All of those people, even those who've never met you,
All of their lives, they'll never forget you.
Don't you see what has happened? Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one."

With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
"Take my hand," and from there he led,
five thousand plus heroes, newcomers to Heaven,
On this day two thousand one, nine eleven.

God bless America
Until next time,

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