I can still remember exactly where I was on the morning of 9/11 11 years ago today. I was in my car driving to college. I had just dropped my oldest and only child at that time off at daycare when I heard the news. I turned the car straight around picked up my son, called my then husband and we met to watch the news unfold. We went to a local sports bar type place and watched horrified with all of the other people there as our country continued to be affected by the terrorist attacks. I will never forget and neither will any other American. The last poem is really long, but so worth the read.
“The planes were hijacked, the buildings fell, and thousands of lives were lost nearly a thousand miles from here. But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an attack on the heart of America.
And standing here in the heartland of America, we say in one voice
We will not give in to terrorists;
We will not rest until they are found and defeated;
We will win this struggle not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace.
“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. “
– President George W. Bush
“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.“
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy’s Day at school,
and she couldn’t wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn’t there today.
But still her mother worried
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter
But the little girl went to school
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees a dad,
who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall in
back, for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats
One by one the teacher called
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
a man who wasn’t there.
“Where’s her daddy at?”
She heard a boy call out.
“She probably doesn’t have one,”
another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
“Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day.”
The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher, who
told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.
“My Daddy couldn’t be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with
and taught me to fly
We used to share
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I’m not standing here alone.
Cause my daddy’s always with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he’ll forever be in my heart”
With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.
And from somewhere there in the crowd
of dads, her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was a right.
And when she dropped her hand back
down, staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.
“I love my daddy very much,
he’s my shining star.
And if he could, he’d be here,
but heaven’s just too far.
You see he is an American Soldier
and died just this past year
When a roadside bomb hit his
convoy and taught Americans
But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it’s like he never went away.”
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.
And to her mother’s amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.
“I know you’re with me Daddy,”
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.
And a child was blessed, if only for
a moment, by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far.