... and those they left behind

"They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies."
--- William Penn


April 15, 2002

"Our towers may not stand, but we, as a nation, stand as tall as ever."

Author Unknown
Submitted by Katie D., Age 12 --- Indiana

April 15, 2002

We rarely get a chance to see another country's editorial about us, the USA. When you think the US isn't thought well of all over the world, read this editorial from a Romanian Newspaper.


Why are Americans so united? They don't resemble one another even if you paint them! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations. Some of them are nearly extinct, others are incompatible with one another, and in matters of religious beliefs, not even God can count how many they are.

Still, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the army, the secret services that they are only a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed on the streets nearby to gape about.

The Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand. After the first moments of panic, they raised the flag on the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colors of the national flag.

They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every place and on every car a minister or the president was passing. On every occasion they started singing their traditional song: "God Bless America!".

Silent as a rock, I watched the charity concert broadcast on Saturday once, twice, three times, on different TV channels. There were Clint Eastwood, Willie Nelson, Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Cassius Clay, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Sylvester Stalone, James Wood, and many others whom no film or producers could ever bring together. The American's solidarity spirit turned them into a choir. Actually, choir is not the word. What you could hear was the heavy artillery of the American soul.

What neither George W. Bush, nor Bill Clinton, nor Colin Powell could say without facing the risk of stumbling over words and sounds, was being heard in a great and unmistakable way in this charity concert.

I don't know how it happened that all this obsessive singing of America didn't sound croaky, nationalist, or ostentatious! It made you green with envy because you weren't able to sing for your country without running the risk of being considered chauvinist, ridiculous, or suspected of who-knows-what mean interests.

I watched the live broadcast and the rerun of it's rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey player, who fought with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a target that would have killed other hundreds or thousands of people.

How on earth were they able to bow before a fellow human? Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put in a collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit which nothing can buy.

What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way? Their land? Their galloping history? Their economic power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases which risk of sounding like common places.

I thought things over, but I reached only one conclusion.

Only freedom can work such miracles!

Editorial from a Romanian Newspaper
Submitted by Rick Seymour --- Michigan

March 15, 2002


We're the angels watching over you
All of us who've gone away
We never got to say good-bye
That tragic American day

We're the angels watching over you
There is no need to fear
For we will watch you day by day
And let you know we're here

We're the angels watching over you
We keep you safe and warm
You'll never see who we are
For we come in different forms

We're the angels watching over you
Filled to the top with pride
We'll help and watch you through your life
Hang on it's a bumpy ride

We're the angels watching over you
Now we have to say good-bye
Please love on another no matter what
For hatred makes us cry

Written in 2002 by Devan A., Age 13 --- Connecticut

March 15, 2002


On a beautiful morning planes went in the air
Bringing along destruction, despair
As the nation turned its eyes to the sky
Wondering why so many had died

As the Towers lay in ruins all around
While ashes and soot covered the ground
The country was shocked and silently stood
Sharing our grief as only we could
Those who did this thought to bring us down

But together, hand in hand, side-by-side, we stood our ground
Although the outcome right now may look pretty grave
We are still the land of the free, the home of the brave
And the one thing we've learned on this darkest of days
Is that NO ONE can take our freedom away

Author Unknown
Submitted by Adam T., Age 19 --- Pennsylvania

March 15, 2002


The day that will be remembered by all, or so it seems.
The day we all watched in horror,
The crumbling of concrete and steel beams.

It was surreal, an aberration.
It was thought by many...
It could never happen in this great nation.

It did happen, it was no nightmare, it was real, it was a fact.
It invoked a multitude of feelings
In terms of how each of us would react.

We also know that eventually it will be a memory, the image will fade.
But let us never forget the magnitude of the price that was paid.

Certainly there is the thought that the powerful and mighty USA,
Is vulnerable and not as secure.
Certainly we suffer with those who lost loved ones
And must go on and endure.

Certainly we will try to pick up the pieces
And return to a "normal" life.
Certainly we will try to rid ourselves of those
Who caused this terrible turmoil and strife.

Knowing all of this,
Will we be able to balance the scales of justice in a fair way?
Will we keep in mind that we can't judge others
By the way they look, or what they say?

Will we begin to treat our fellow citizens in a manner
That recognizes each person as a human being of value?
Will we set aside road rage, racial inequities, material greed,
And really appreciate where we are, and that we all need to start anew?

The answers will come as we commit to memory that horrible day.
It's human nature that these events will begin to fade, as we go our way.
We have all had some experience with these feelings of sadness and remorse.
Don't feel guilty if the particulars fade; remember this;
We've seen... once again...human nature at its worse.

So now; where are we, where do we go?
September 11, 2001, it's like the start of a new year.
It's so new, these feelings...
What to do, how to help...
It's no longer "over there"'s here.

What will, can, and should we do
To memorialize those who have passed, so it was not in vain.
And not just those who have recently paid a price,
But all who have given and suffered this undying pain.

There are no quick answers, but there are some things we all can do.
Let's dedicate ourselves to making this world a better place;
Not by the year, the day, the hour, but every minute too.
Each minute is precious, as we witnessed and much can be done.
Use those minutes to smile, say hello, and volunteer to help someone.

Use those minutes to say I'm sorry, I appreciate you, I love you.
Use those minutes to help a handicapped person,
Visit and help our youngsters and seniors too.

Use those minutes to offer a, " how can I help you?"
Use those minutes to squeeze the most of life
By utilizing every second that remains for you.

Well that's a start;
I'm sure there are a thousand more things you can think of
To make this a better place.
This memorial will resound across the nation
With participants from every religion, every race.

And in the future
When you sing "God Bless America,"
Or " The Star Spangled Banner,"
It will serve as a reminder to you,
That this is, has been, and will always be,
A nation of people that mean it when they say,
" The land that I love" and show it with a willing,
"And what can I do for you?"

Copyright © 2001 Robert Pallone

March 15, 2002

This is in dedication to those who are serving to protect this country in a time of tragedy. Those men and women out there can not be respected enough. May God bless them and bring them home safe. This was written by me. It may not be the best poem in the world, but I can guarantee it was the most heart-felt.


We woke that dreadful dawn of Tuesday
Shocked and stunned with disbelief
We were victims of the graphic images
Of tragic horror and despicable grief

We watched the mighty twins fall
To their knees in desperate surrender
The smoke and debris quickly overcame
As New York City cried in terror

As people we were filled with fury
And as individuals we cried
But as a nation we arose
And as one we reunited

We mourn those who were lost
The ones whose lives were sacrificed
While we prepare for the biggest fight
The most impactful one of our lives:
The fight for our freedom.

While our sons will leave home
And our daughters unwillingly grieve
Our fathers will dry the many tears
Off the cheeks of the wives they now leave

Our sons and daughters will return
With justice and honor proudly served
Our fathers and brothers will come home
To whose freedom will never again be disturbed

They will bring home the beautiful flag
And Lady Liberty will raise her torch high
For those who dare attempt to ruin the honor
America now bravely fights united with pride

May God bless America
And those who fight for her honor.

Copyright © 2001 Ashley Gantzler

February 15, 2002

(In memory of the World Trade Center victims)

No dream was saved from thoughts depraved
When vengeance claimed you as its whore
Our banners burned, as shadows yearned
Resolved to scald our very core.

Through frenzied cries, you scorched the skies
Those pleas for help seemed not to faze
First once, then twice, we paid the price
Our hearts, but kindling, set ablaze.

At first it seemed but as a dream
We strained to see through blinded eyes
Then came the fear as flames burned clear
The nightmare of that sacrifice.

Still to this day, through God we pray
To gain firm grasp of what transpired
And though we feel it's time to heal
Revenge appears our soul desire.

Must hatred pave our battered fates?
Or can we rise above this squall?
And like the Phoenix, breathe again--
Antiquity shall judge us all.

Copyright © 2001 Brian Nelson
Submitted by Ruth Mack --- South Dakota

February 15, 2002


I weep with you America,
My tears they fall like rain,
Flooding you with My presence,
Offering healing for your pain.

Yes the enemy is raging,
But by far he has not won.
For I'm in this battle with you,
Together, we will overcome.

My children you are soldiers,
In this fight to wipe out sin.
Keep focused on your goal,
Heaven's your eternal prize to win.

Get ready all yea nations,
For My return is near,
To rescue those who love Me,
To a land which knows no fear.

Yes, I, the Lord, am with thee,
I hear your every prayer.
My heart is breaking also,
Your burdens I do share.

Yes, I weep with you America
My tears they fall like rain.
Flooding you with My presence,
Come, seek refuge from your pain.

Heart Moments, Copyright 2001 by Elizabeth Whetstone

February 15, 2002


The woman looked into her mirror, then down to her trembling hands. Her mind was racing with thoughts of tragedy that she could not understand.

Worry for her children, family, friends, nation, our troops and people she did not know in other countries, kept her from rest.

Discernment of something she could not understand, of people she did not want to understand! People who murder, abuse and maim.

Her prayers were unceasing; prayers for peace and justice! Prayers for the death to stop! Prayers for her anxiety to vanish!

The woman needed someone to hear, listen and care. Her Father heard her prayers and would answer.... in His time.

Yet this woman yearned for a touch from another living being who could understand, and guide her, and dry her tears.

Her brother heard the pain in her message to him, and he answered her with gentleness, compassion, mercy, and graciousness, and scripture.

He could not dry her tears for he was far away; however by the end of the evening she felt her Father's peace and light. Her sleep was restful.

Now the woman sits and gives thanks to her Father for giving her a brother who is bold in what he believes, and gracious in sharing.

This man is strong and full of courage.

This man is my brother, and I love him.

Copyright © 2001 Joey Robertson

February 15, 2002

This is a pantoum poem so lines are repeated. I wrote this as a memorial for those who lost their lives in the WTC attacks and their families and friends. September 11th was a horrible day, horrible tragedy, but we can all be glad that America has grown stronger Home Sweet Home America! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

"Proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free."
God bless you all!

Sorrow fills a barren space
Thousands of lives were taken
That cannot be replaced
Hear the millions of hushless breaths tonight as people pray for peace.

Thousands of lives were taken
The little ones left behind
Hear the millions of hushless breaths tonight as people pray for peace

The innocent bystanders who did nothing wrong have died
The little ones left behind
May the thousands who died rest in peace

The innocent bystanders who did nothing wrong have died.
May God be with you all and cause no more grief.
May the thousands who died rest in peace

Hear the millions of hushless breaths tonight as people pray for peace.
May God be with you all and cause no more grief.
Hear the millions of hushless breaths tonight as people pray for peace.

Copyright © 2001 Megan Kiviniemi

January 16, 2002

IN MEMORY OF MY SON, TONY LEE OAKS - 10/4/79 to 09/11/2001


He came to me last night, in my dreams. He said, "Momma, it will be alright. I am in a new home, far away from you, but never far away from your heart."

I cried a tear; he held my hand. I said, "Son, it's not fair they took you away, from me. I never got a chance to tell you I Love You." He said " Momma, you told me everyday, in things you did and in what you'd say."

I cried a tear; he held me close to him. I said, "Son, I never got to say good-bye, never got to touch your face and see your eyes."

He said, "Momma, good-bye is forever. Never say it unless you really mean it, say 'I'll see you soon', for momma, there is never a good-bye in the love we share."

I cried a tear; he looked in my eyes as he wiped them from my cheeks. I said, "Life's a bitch, I do know this, but you were my baby and I was not there to protect you."

He said, "Momma, you're so right, I only wished I realized all you said sooner than what I did. Momma, I needed to grow on my own. You taught me well, the best you could, but as you said so many times before life is full of choices and roads to choice. I chose a road that turned out to be my final destination, not your fault. As you said, God picks the best petals of his flock; I was a petal he chose that day."

I cried a tear; he held my hands. I said, "Son, I will never be able to touch you again, or whisper in your ear, or laugh with you. I will never hear my name usher through your lips. I miss you so, my heart aches inside."

He said, "Momma, every time you bring your arms to your chest, I am inside of them. Every time you call my name, I am next to you. Every time you think of me, it will be because I thought of you first. You're not alone; I will always be by your side."

I wiped my tears and woke to a darkened room. For a second, I could have sworn it was my son. He smiled at me, blew a kiss, then winked his eye and he said "I'll see ya later, Momma." Was it really him, or just a dream within a dream? I might never know for sure but that night left my heart feeling a little warmer inside. For now I know, my son is in Jesus' hands. I could never ask for better care of my child.

No matter where he is, my love will surround him and will surround all those who have past along his side on September 11, 2001. God Bless Us All.

Copyright © 2001 Donna Le graham

"Do not live in the past, as sometimes the past can hold you back. Live each day as if it were the first day of the rest of your life. For in all actuality it is."

Author Unknown
Sent in by Donna Le graham

January 16, 2002

One question that is asked these days,
Is how God could cause such pain?
With all these terrible events in the world,
Where was God when we needed him?

My answer is, right there with them;
With the victims, with the firemen.
God's love was bound around,
Every person in that town.

As they recover from this terrible blow,
The faith and unity of our country shows.
God is too kind to let something like this happen,
I know he has a bigger plan in mind.

Just look to his word, go to him in prayer,
And you may find that God is love, peace, and joy.
So when we ask about the eleventh,
Just remember God's blessings that he sends from heaven.
He is the way, the truth, and the light
He will never ever leave your side.

Author Unknown
Submitted by A.M., Age 17 --- North Dakota

January 16, 2002


I landed safely
As my flight was diverted
Out of harm's way,

But I did not understand immediately
What had happened
That day,

We knew of some kind of attack
A plane had struck
The twin towers,

At first
I wanted to believe it was an accident
The reality, I just couldn't devour,

Greater than any trauma
I had ever heard of
I stood shaking listening to the reports,

Hundreds, no thousands
Were trapped, burned, killed
I collapsed still listening to the reports,

I have seen war before
On TV, in papers and in books

I have seen tragedy and pain
But what made me take a second look?

Was it because it was so close to home?
Was it because the world seemed a smaller place?

What would I have done if I were in the building?
Struck and burnt in an instant
Who would I have become?
And would I have had time to cherish my life's best moments?

My brothers, my sisters, my fellow citizens
Were ripped from any sense of peace, safety or security,
And yet, the same brothers, sisters and citizens
Are not shrinking from the call of American duty,

Fierce, brave, militant
We know where we need to be tough,
America has long been the helper of others
But this act of terrorism awoke us to "enough is enough",

I always believed that everyone is good
That if we do not seek evil,
It will not come to our door,

But here it is
Over 3,000 spent lives later,
It took away people, it took away more,

How will I fly again?
How will I visit undiscovered lands?
Will someone hate me for my looks?
Will they ask me about my religion?

Of all the things I've shared with others
My beliefs never caused me tension,

Now I'm scared but I will carry on
As our flag waves proudly,
And as it stands tall
I will celebrate my freedom and all it's glory,

Hatred does not develop in the heart of God
Suffering is not worshiped in prayers and sermons,
There are deeper wounds in the hearts of people
That are lashing out on neighbors, on innocents,

I do not want to rise each day in fear
I work and play and laugh just like you,
I have two feet and two hands
And I will do what God asks me to,

God reaches all
And be punished, you will,
For I love this country and I love this world
And there is no room for you, no room for ill...

Copyright © 2001 Manisha S. Joshi

January 16, 2002

With heads held high as tears stream down our cheeks...
We'll never forget what happened only last week.
We lower Old Glory to half staff out of respect to them all...
As the world watched in horror to see the Twin Towers fall.

The lives that were taken, the Pentagon burned...
The death toll still rises and goes unconfirmed.
We've all said our prayers,
Dear God help us through...
For we can do nothing without the help of you.

Our heads in our hands we pray until morning light...
Dear Lord help the workers get through the night.
As God Bless America rings through the streets...
Together we have risen right back to our feet.

With patriotism in our head and prayer in our hearts...
This is the end for terrorism, here's where we start.
Take note those of you who are evil and cruel...
This is the last, the last day that you rule.
America is strong like never before...

So put your hand on your heart as the flag it will soar.
United we stand and together we go...
For now they will reap all that they sow.
God Bless America and Let Freedom Ring...
For we are the country and together we sing.

Like never before we stand side by side...
We watch over our President for he is our guide.
So together we stand so brave and so tall...
And forever we'll remember them, remember them all.

Copyright © 2001 Melinda Lawrence

December 17, 2001

Tuesday, September 11th, started out as every other Tuesday had. My 9:30 History class is always a struggle for me; I barely ever stay awake. After class, I hurried to the bus stop to get back to my dorm as quickly as possible. As I rode the bus past the swarms of students leaving their dorms for their 11 o'clock classes, I noticed we had passed a few students with tears streaming down their faces. That was when I heard it.

Over the radio, by the driver's feet, were the sounds of chaos and trauma. I could barely make out the frenzied reports, but it was not lost on me that the events were catastrophic in nature. I ran from the bus stop to my dorm, the 115 stairs a blur. In the lounge, I joined a few upperclassmen on our hall to witness, via television, the most disturbing and depressing images I have ever seen.

I stayed in the lounge until I knew my parents, 5000 miles away in Hawaii, would be awake. It turns out they had been awake for a couple hours, after receiving a call from my sister who was to start an internship at KQED, the San Francisco station of NPR, on September 11th.

The voices of my parents were like a hole in a blow up pool, the tears started flowing and seemed like they would never end. I spoke to them until I gained control of myself, and then called all my classmates at school in DC and New York to make sure they were okay.

Still in a state of shock, I turned to my journal to record my feelings. Among the thousands of people who joined God on September 11th, only one had direct ties to my family.

My mom sent this poem to the father of one of the victims of the terrorist attacks, who enjoyed it greatly. I now offer it to the rest of the mourners- those who have lost loved ones and those who have lost faith- as a reminder of the triumph of good in the face of evil. Well over two months after the deadliest attacks on American soil, the pain continues, but the memories of the innocent people who lost their lives will never be forgotten. Be strong, believe in the good and never lose hope.

Innocent people, innocent minds,
It has come time; draw shut the blinds.
Times have changed; times remain,
This world we know is full of pain.

Listen to the cries; listen to the song,
Will someone explain where we went wrong?
Strive to be true, strive to do right,
Close your eyes, sweet dreams, sleep tight.

Copyright © 2001 Tacy Taylor

December 17, 2001

R.M., M.L., J.M., R.O., T.O., J.M., J.G., F.I., D.C., FDNY, NYPD

The events of 9-11 have left us all torn apart,
They have created unfading marks imprinted on our hearts.
Sadness and fear now fill our school walls,
While tearful conversations take place in the halls.

We've all been affected in many different ways,
By the horrible events of these past few days.
It seems that nothing good can come from all this,
For there are people we love, and people we miss.

Yet through everything, we must continue our prayer,
Even though these attacks just are not fair.
Let us pray for those innocent people who have passed away,
And for all those who are helping them in any way.

For the fire fighters and police who are risking their lives,
To try to save those who may still be inside.
For our nation and its leaders who now must respond,
May God help them decide, to be firm, to be strong.

For the people of America, that they may find comfort in the fact,
That our nation's resolve was not touched by these acts.
And for any of our own intentions, which we mention inside,
May God help us all to find peace--in our hearts, and worldwide.

Copyright © 2001 Maureen Davis

On September 11, our world changed forever
As innocent people became victims of terror
A regular workday suddenly turned into war
And civilians were targeted, like never before

Workers expected to make it through the day,
They never imagined it could end this way
And firemen and policemen ran in to save lives
Knowing, quite well, that they, too, might die

As the buildings fell down, we watched with fear
Worrying about loved ones, and shedding a tear
Doctors and nurses were needed to help,
They proudly nursed some victims back to health

Yet so many people still cannot be found
As rescue workers continue to search all around
This attack struck near to very many of our hearts
And to all of our lives it will forever be a part

Who could have done this?
More importantly, why?
We will always remember,
For heroes do not die

We now have many guardian angels
Looking down on us from above
And watching over us, and our world,
With never-ending love.

Copyright © 2001 Maureen Davis

December 17, 2001

"But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hollow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggle here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract."

Abraham Lincoln
Submitted by A. Lincoln --- Texas

December 17, 2001

This poem is dedicated to those whose lives were lost in the recent events of September 11, 2001


I am sorry

for caring about my new outfit I was going to wear
that Tuesday morning

for not thinking about your families
and how you will have to be the one to tell them

I am sorry

for not wanting to admit that there was still hope

I am sorry that all those people will never come home
to see their spouse and children
to say I love you

I am sorry to all those people who never got to say good-bye
I am sorry to all those that never got to fall in love for the first time
or to those who never got to say "I do"

I am sorry to all those that could not fulfill their dreams
but most of all

I am sorry for those who are afraid to say sorry
I am sorry

Submitted by Phil Chapman

December 17, 2001

A tribute to the heroes of September 11th.


It's 9 - 1 - 1 and there's a 9 - 1 - 1 dispatching heroes to the scene.
The air is filled with smoke and fire and panic-stricken screams.
Some are called and some are caught and others just rush in
With saving lives their foremost thought our heroes now begin.

In shock, we stop to watch the unthinkable unfold.
But even in the horror, we hear the stories told.
Great accounts of heroes slowly filter through
Of just plain folks resolved to do, whatever they can do.

Some proudly wear the uniforms of air, police and fire.
And some just wear their business suits, some casual attire.
They began the day as Moms and Dads, associates and friends,
As daughters, sons and brothers, off to work again.

Adversity, some say, introduces you to you.
And most don't know they're heroes, until the call comes through.
There's a fire chief who safely leads out several of his men
And knowing more are still inside, goes right back in again.

There's a clergyman who dies while descending from the heights
Because he stops to comfort and give the Last of Rites.
On another floor most have fled but remaining 'til the end
Is a hero at the side of his quadriplegic friend.

Two other heroes fight the clock, undaunted by the danger,
Labor for an hour to help a total stranger
Disabled in a wheel chair that they carry floor by floor
Sixty-eight exhausting flights 'til she's safely out the door.

And what about the fourth plane, United 93.
Already so much terror and more is meant to be.
But sometimes heroes take to flight, like eagles in the air.
These heroes bravely give their lives, that others will be spared.

Just ordinary folks on an extra-ordinary day
These heroes stand the test in extraordinary way.

Beneath the smoke and dust and ash lie the heroes of this land.
Who gave their all, when they heard the call to help their fellow man.
Now with them die heroic tales that never will be known.
God bless these American Heroes that today are summoned home.

Copyright © 2001 Robert W. Brown


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