... and those they left behind

"Next to love, sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart."
--- Edmund Burke


November 15, 2002

I'm in the 9th grade. When we were given the opportunity to write a poem in Literature class as extra-credit assignment around September 11, 2002, I went for it. At first I had no idea what to write, but once my pen hit the paper, I couldn't stop!


When the world awoke, it was a normal day,
By 9 o'clock, it certainly didn't look that way.
One tower was hit and then the other,
The world was left below to smother.
Then the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania last,
Why would someone do these terrible acts?

To tear us apart, to break us down,
To try to turn America around?
Instead, all together, we stand,
Bound together, stronger this land.
We gathered to support, to love and to pray,
To remember those who died this dark day.

Copyright © 2002 Lindsey Carr

November 15, 2002

"Courage is not the freedom from fear; it's being afraid,
Yet still having the strength to go on."

Billy Crystal, from the "9-11 Tribute To America Special"
Submitted by Josh M., Age 18 --- Virginia

November 15, 2002

In spite of what happened on September 11, 2001, all that I know is that it's done and over with, and our Airline Services are a lot stronger now!! Our Lady Liberty still stands today, nice and high like it will forever!! Hold your head up high and say,
"I Am Proud To Be An American And I Always Will Be!"

Copyright © 2002 Andrea Ludowise

October 16, 2002

"They expected us to fall, but we kept standing
They expected us to give up, but we kept fighting
They expected us to lose strength, but we only got stronger
They expected our country to die, but we kept living....
God Bless Everyone and God Bless America!!"

Written in 2002 by The Mystery Runner, Age 15 --- Wisconsin

October 16, 2002


As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes
We become one people.

We are
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people

We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

Copyright © 2001 Dr. Cheryl Sawyer
Submitted by Chelsey B., Age 13 --- Iowa

October 16, 2002

I wrote this poem for a school project after the events of 9/11. It helped me as well as my peers. They felt better about themselves.

why does intelligence some people lack
why does the sun burn the skin on my back
why don't we try to solve problems with peace
and not kill anyone at all at least
why do our minds fill with mist when we worry
why are there always two sides to a story

why do we fight, when we easily can deal
with all of the problems that should appeal?
all of these things are not easy to say
and so many people resort to teasing today
things would turn out good if we thought with our heads
and we wouldn't sit worrying at night in our beds.

why is the world filled with terrorism each day
the reason you see, I really can't say...

Copyright © 2002 Katie King

I wrote this poem the day of the September 11th attacks. It helped me and my friends through the grief, and helped us to see a way out.

When I heard the news, understood what they'd said,
I couldn't believe it; all those people dead.
Their lives had been cut short, their memories erased.
They were unaware of the danger they'd faced.

When the plane hit the tower, heard that great boom,
The world was shaking in every room.
What was at stake then, the life of our friends?
Our families? Relatives? The list never ends.

How can I live when they aren't alive?
Why try to give or even to strive?
I try to move on but not to forget
Cause September 11th, it's not over yet

I promise you this, though I'm here all the way
Through tears and through memories; my trust will not stray.

Copyright © 2001 Katie King

October 16, 2002

"Tomorrow is another day, and the sun will rise with just as much hate in the world as it did today. Love cannot rebuild our highest skyscrapers or bring back those we have lost, yet its only job is to conquer hate and make peace on earth seem a little more realistic."

Copyright © 2001 Mary Thomas

September 16, 2002


In remembrance
Pause for a moment
To think of those lost
Of the innocence souls
Who tumbled and stumbled
Without ever knowing why.

In the rush of life
Doing their jobs
Just another day
Was suppose to be just like yesterday
But out of the air
Terror struck

They never had a chance
But heroes were formed
And a nation stood firm.
In remembrance
Pause for a moment
To think of that day
Thinking of all that was lost
And all that was gained
Never letting it be
A forgotten tale.

Copyright © 2002 Ellen Flickner

June 17, 2002

God bless America's fighting men and women who do not cower when their country calls. The rights of all Americans are built on the courage of all who fight for Freedom and Democracy. God Bless America and Remember 9-11-01. We shall overcome any adversity that comes our way because:
"We Are Of The People, By The People, And For The People!"


Today I wear a caring heart.
It's wrapped up in red, white and blue.
Too often we forget this day,
To honor those, so tried and true.

I always wear a caring heart.
I wear it each and every day.
Today I wrapped it specially,
So I would not forget to pray...

To bless all those who died for truth,
Who called their Mama's name in pain.
So young, these gallant heroes fair,
Who gave their lives, but not in vain.

Today the flag will pass me by,
And bunted heart will open wide.
As I salute this glorious site...
My humble self will swell with pride.

This is our country! These our dead!!
And if others happen to fall....
Remember, they follow HEROES,
Who gave us the ultimate gift....

Copyright © 2002 Carol Bouche Ottlinger

May 15, 2002

I was at school when I was told about the tragedy that had taken place in the United States. That day we did not do work, rather, sat in our classes and watched the television broadcasts or listened to the radio to learn about what was taking place, right beside us.

During my last period class my teacher came into the classroom holding a piece of paper. She tried to keep a steady voice and aloud began to read, she only made it through half of the page before the tears began to form in her eyes. She looked at me and handed me the paper as if to continue in her place. I kept on reading and by the end the whole class was in tears.

It is truly unfortunate how it takes such tragic events for people to realize how much we all have, everything that goes unnoticed each day, how vulnerable we all are...September 11th has changed everyone forever.

Author Unknown
Submitted by M.F. --- Ontario, Canada


On Monday
we emailed jokes.
On Tuesday
we did not.

On Monday
we thought that we were secure.
On Tuesday
we learned better.

On Monday
we were talking about heroes as being athletes.
On Tuesday
we relearned who our heroes are.

On Monday
we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived.
On Tuesday
we gave money away to people we had never met.

On Monday
there were people fighting against praying in schools.
On Tuesday
you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying.

On Monday
people argued with their kids about picking up their room.
On Tuesday
the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids.

On Monday
people were upset that they had to wait 6 minutes in a fast food drive through line.
On Tuesday
people didn't care about waiting up to 6 hours to give blood for the dying.

On Monday
we waved our flags signifying our cultural diversity.
On Tuesday
we waved only the American flag.

On Monday
there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, colour and creed.
On Tuesday
they were all holding hands.

On Monday
we were men or women, black or white, old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian.
On Tuesday
we were Americans.

On Monday
politicians argues about budget surpluses.
On Tuesday
grief stricken they sang "God Bless America."

On Monday
the President was going to Florida to read to children.
On Tuesday
he returned to Washington to protect our children.

On Monday
we had families.
On Tuesday
we had orphans.

On Monday
people went to work as usual.
On Tuesday
they died.

On Monday
people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property.
On Tuesday
the same people all said 'God help us all' while thinking 'Thou shalt not kill'.

It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into perspective, but it has. The lessons learned this week, the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.

Author Unknown
Submitted by M.F. --- Ontario, Canada

May 15, 2002

I wrote this poem because after the Sept.11 incident, a lot of people were sad and angry and felt like their life was at an end. There shouldn't have to be any wars at all. We should live in peace and harmony the way God wants it to be.

When I am filled with anguish and hatred toward the world
And can take no more I go to God.
He is my rock, my fortress.
When sadness fills me I listen to my heart.
God whispers His will through it because He is love.
When I am at war with the world,
I go to God because He is peace.

Copyright © 2001 Madison Magne

May 15, 2002


Cold and corrupted,
and pretty as pie,
another tower bleeding
off the New York skyline.

A corporate catastrophe,
point click and sell,
and I thought the world would notice
when that second tower fell.

And everyone stood still.
And everyone held hands.
And we all cried together,
"I'm here brother,
I understand."

And night fell on the ashes,
which fell on us all.
From here to East Asia,
we all waited for that call.

"Daddy, I'm ok,
I made it,
I'm coming home."
And the tears in her voice echoed
through lovers left alone.

We all thought of our families,
branded in reflect,
with eyes dry and burning,
watching president elect.

And we all made this promise,
our hearts felt the change,
like we ever had a choice,
human race rearranged.

So I thought.
And maybe you did too.

But time is the CEO
and the American machine's
got work to do!

So bring on the whisky,
and lets make a deal,
that's money buried breathing,
and a wall street Cipro steal.

Underneath the heartbeat
that we all felt together.
Underneath the promise
of change and forever.

My heart to all the people,
who never said goodbye.
My arms to hold you sister,
Don't be afraid to cry.

I've seen new light through verses,
survivors tear and tell.
But I thought this world would notice,
when that second soldier fell.

Copyright © 2002 Jaclyn Dollinger


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