Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The following poem was written by me on September 14th, 2001 in response the the terrorist attacks on the US 3 days before. I have posted it somewhere every year since. I'm sharing it again this year because we should never forget what happened on that fateful day, and how it changed us. 

They Did Not Die In Vain

All humanity sighed
As souls left the earth
Lives taken swiftly
Unjustly so
They died not in vain
For tears and remorse
Wash clean the blood
On the crumpled edifices
Of steel and concrete
That makes civilization grand

But buildings do not define us
Within we are human
Warm and alive
Full of stories
Martyrs they became, oh yes
But so much more
Every last one
A living testament
To faith
And the greatest force on earth

We watched in horror
Over and over again
As the events were replayed
And reactions were given
Stunned looks
Terror in the streets
Angry oaths
Silent sobs
Open weeping
Our brethren were stoic
Or they cried and pleaded
They were dead heroes or victims
But they were all alive
Just moments before
Without any foreknowledge
Of their place in history
Etched on our minds
Engraved on our hearts
For eternity

I wept with them
The ones who died
The living left behind
The shattered hopes and dreams
Like the rubble in the streets
Made us all stop and think
That could be me!
I watched stunned
And vowed as did others
We will overcome this
We are one people
We are humane and caring
This cannot be!

Who dares challenge that right?
To live free and open lives
To send fear into our hearts
And sorrow of the most profound
For after all is said and done
Nevermore will we trust
With the heart of innocents
That we are safe and protected
In this womb of our building
In this fortress of our sovereignty

Will the swords of justice
Smite down the aggressors
And bring us peace and redress?
Or just a sense of revenge
I do not know
But I do know this
They died not in vain
Who gave their lives for freedom
And to help their fellow man
For as the tragedy struck
And lives hung in the balance
Or were snuffed out
I saw birds rise from the buildings
Sun on their wings
Angels of nature
Reminding me that there is a better place
Where there is no grief or pain
And no thoughts of war
May they live there forever
Those poor wretched souls
Till we join them again

And amid all the rubble
The twisted beams of steel and concrete
The dust and the fires
Papers fluttered to earth
A poignant reminder
We once lived and worked here
Do not forget us
We live on in your hearts
We did not die in vain
If the world becomes a better place
Because we once showed you
How to care about your brethren
And to value all you have
No matter how small it is
Or how rude and humble
Life is a gift

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