Remembering September 11th
I’m about to share something very personal to me. I wrote this the night of September 11th when my heart was aching so desperately after the day’s events that I ended up doing what I always do when I’m immobilized by the pain only a truly broken heart can know, I put pen to paper. I’m sharing it with you. You felt it too. I will post about this later but for now… Here it is, fresh from those moments when everything changed forever.
This stricken starry night in mid-September,
We suffer through tragedy we will always remember.
Hijacked planes of our living souls,
Lost beloved people, wounded cherished souls.
Here we are.
We actually went to war today,
Us, the peacemakers, the USA.
Today we suffered ungodly dark sin.
Tomorrow, somehow we must move on again.
Unbelievable, hideous evil has invaded our land.
Heroes lay slain by faceless command.
Families have been broken, hearts forever scarred.
Lives severely altered, our very history is marred.
And we grieve.
But gleeful Palestinians dance and cheer upon their streets,
While widowed lovers cry and childless mothers weep.
Ash and tears flood openly, sharp images of pain.
The Trade Center smokes while the Pentagon flames!
Our people cry.
American air space is suddenly a sacred place.
Our borders are sealed up, but are we safe?
A warship sits in New York Harbor.
As America mourns her sons and her daughters.
Our world has shifted.
But with liberty challenged we stand tall.
Prayers swarm through Heaven’s walls.
I’m proud of my people as they suffer through sin.
Brave, selfless spirits, enchanting Americans.
We are strong.
So tomorrow we breathe with appreciation,
We see with awe in grim celebration.
For we pulled together we rose above.
We could have been Hate but instead, we were Love.
We are righteous.
Our world was shattered, our souls were torn.
But we were heroes even as we mourned.
Many precious spirits were stolen today,
Our country was terrorized but Faith went unswayed.
We have strong souls.
All has changed with so much gone.
We move transformed but we march on.
Within impending doom and great lingering sorrow,
I pray Justice brings peace Home tomorrow.
God Bless America!
In the days and weeks that followed, I also have memories worth sharing. I remember how instead of everyone casting anxious glances towards the sky every time an airplane flew over, suddenly you could hardly turn a corner without seeing an American flag swaying in the breeze. Patriotism exploded. There was no longer a single dry eye when the Anthem was sung. The nation went colorblind. Prejudice vanished. We became what we were always meant to be, Americans. Not our skin color, not a checkmark next to Caucasian or African American or American Indian. We were all American’s only and we were in this thing together. I also remember how the church doors swung open and so many people found their way home. How through faith healing emerged.
And then I remember the nights when I would lose my breath thinking of the people who continued to suffer with the loss of their parent, their child, their friend. I would shudder at the thought of the empty chairs at the dinner tables across America.
But then again there were those moments when I was humbled so deeply thinking of the rescue workers and the civilians who lost their lives in an effort to save the lives of complete strangers. True real life heroes. Like the men and women on the plane that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. How selfless and how brave!
Here’s the thing, though. I still feel it all now. The loss. The grief. The ache that left a hole. The hope. The love. The desire to honor the fallen. When American’s say, we will never forget, we mean it. Fifteen years is nothing. For those of us who lived that day, we can never forget. We were changed. We came out stronger with a love and compassion few of us had an opportunity to experience before the towers were hit. We were traumatized but were also changed. As I wrote that night, we could have been Hate but instead, we were Love. And we still are.
May God bless the victims, the survivors, and every American from sea to shining sea. Today and always.