Sunday, September 11, 2011

Answering the Call -- A Poem Remembering 9/11

It has been ten years. As I was preparing to make agate plates this morning, I started watching the television coverage of the remembrance ceremonies. As most of you, I remember exactly where I was ten years ago. I was in Denver at my friend's house. Clare had left early for work and heard on the radio about the first tower being hit. She didn't have a cell phone, so she stopped at a pay phone and called me. I turned on the television and saw the plane fly into the second tower. I knew immediately, even before the other planes hit in Pennsylvania and Washington and before the towers collapsed -- that our world had changed.

During the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I was impressed with the way that everyone pulled together. As I look back over the last ten years, I wonder what happened to that sense of unity.

As I listened to the family members announce the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died that day, the tears started to flow. I was surprised how emotional I became. Oftentimes when I become emotional, I write a poem to express the feelings. The following poem evolved.

In the year after the millennium,
our lives were still normal.
We woke up that morning
expecting things to be the same.
Now ten years later we hear the names
and remember those we lost.
It is hard to assess the cost.

As time has continued on,
our lives have changed.
We have lost our sense of security;
terror threats rule the day;

our innocence has had to pay.
Individual freedoms have declined,
our world seems less kind.

At first we pulled together;
our hearts merged as one.
We were determined to move on past,
knowing the memories will always last.
We vowed to persevere and do our best
to honor those who are now at rest.

But today we are divided;
ideologies are far apart.
We no longer work together
to better the world for all.
We are not answering the call
to do what must be done
so that we can say we won.

PLEASE -- let us each and together honor those who died ten years ago today. Let's eliminate and ignore the rhetoric. Let's recover integrity, respect our differences, and make decisions to work together and develop a better country and a more peaceful world where we effectively take care of each other.

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