Remember 9/11

TWO THOUSAND ONE, NINE ELEVEN
Two thousand one, nine eleven
Five thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, “Lets sit, lets chat”
They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud
“I have a dream!” and once he did
The Newcomer said, “Your dream still lives.”
Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
“We’re from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine”
The Newcomer said, “You died not in vain.”
From a man on sticks one could hear
“The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, “We know the rest,
trust us sir, we’ve passed that test.”
“Courage doesn’t hide in caves
You can’t bury freedom, in a grave,”
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores
A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day
“Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we’re not”
The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, “don’t talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me”
Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just ’cause they must
Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
“Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!”
So said Martin, as he watched the scene
“Even from nightmares, can be born a dream.”
Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze
The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima back in ’44
The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly
“I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow – but I don’t see fear.”
“You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You’re not really gone.
All of those people, even those who’ve never met you
All of their lives, they’ll never forget you
Don’t you see what has happened?
Don’t you see what you’ve done?
You’ve brought them together, together as one.
With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
“Take my hand,” and from there he led
five thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven
UNKNOWN AUTHOR

Raising the Flag at Ground Zero

The horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 forever changed the landscape of the Manhattan skyline and life in America as we knew it.

But in the chaos and rubble where the World Trade Center no longer stood, Record photographer Thomas E. Franklin captured an unforgettable image of hope — three firefighters raising the American flag.

Standing defiantly against the gray and white landscape of devastation, these dust-covered men and the vivid red, white, and blue of Old Glory instantly became a symbol of American patriotism.The Record’s photo of these three heroic rescuers – Brooklyn-based firefighters George Johnson of Rockaway Beach, Dan McWilliams of Long Island (both from Ladder 157), and Billy Eisengrein of Staten Island (Rescue 2) – also became a global message that life, and America, would go on.The photo, which appeared Sept. 12 in The Record, has since graced the pages of many other newspapers as well as national newsmagazines. Network television has repeatedly displayed the photo during its round-the-clock disaster coverage, comparing it to the famous image of Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II.

Franklin, an eight-year veteran of The Record, took the photo late in the afternoon of Sept. 11, after spending hours at the scene. He was walking toward the debris of the World Trade Center when he spotted the firefighters.

“The shot immediately felt important to me,” Franklin said. “It said something to me about the strength of the American people and about the courage of all the firefighters who, in the face of this horrible disaster, had a job to do in battling the unimaginable.”

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Remember 9/11

  • dl.miley

    Interesting is an understatement. To think back to that tragic day brings a sea of emotions. I awoke that morning wondering how I would celebrate my birthday. Instead, I turned on the TV and was confronted with videos of the first plane hitting the first tower. As the commentator was talking, the second plane rammed the other tower. I was glued to the TV as the day progressed and other things happened. Eleven years later, I still remember that day vividly.

  • Richard

    It happened on the 9/11 9th of November did it? I thought it was on 11/9 11th of September.

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