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On September 11, 2001 our world was changed forever. On this day, the United States of America was attacked by terrorists. Not in a declared, or conventional war, but in the cowardly fashion of hijacking four commercial airliners and using them, their crew, and the passengers as missiles. Two were crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center, eventually causing both towers to collapse. A third was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The fourth apparently was intended to be flown into either The Capital, or The White House. Fortunately, the passengers were able to rally and thwart the hijackers desires. Unfortunately, the passengers could not save the plane and it crashed outside of Pittsburgh, PA with the loss of all souls.

When I first heard the news my initial reaction was dread! What are we in for now? How will we, as a country, be able to handle and respond to this. And then Fear! My wife and I have 3 sons! One is already in the military service. What fate will befall them? Will they now experience first hand the "art" of war?

I, fortunately, did not have to serve in Vietnam and I had hoped that would be our last war and my children would never have to face the fear and reality of war. Alas, that was not to be the case! It seems that every generation since at least the beginning of the 20th Century has had to face some military conflict. Why ??

I knew this dastardly deed would unite the country and, having worked in New York City for 24 years, I knew that in spite of what many people felt about New Yorkers, they would respond and pull together in a fashion that would not only astound everyone, but make everyone proud. We were not disappointed! NY City rallied with all its might. But then we had a set back. We watched, either live, or on video tape, the Twin Towers collapsing. Seeing with our own eyes the rubble and realizing the massive loss of life. The civilians trapped in those buildings, and the rescue workers who, in spite of their own fears, proudly and steadfast, marched into those buildings in an attempt to help and save all that were there -- all gone!! All we could do is stay glued to our TV.

As the days passed; our hearts ached, we felt we had to do something. But what? Thousands of Americans donated blood, contributed money to the relief effort, donated food and other supplies to be used in the rescue effort in New York. But most of all we ached! We hurt for our fellow Americans and we felt naked, exposed, and helpless. Helpless, that is, to physically help those who needed aid and assistance both in New York and in Washington, DC. BUT, in spite of all our fears and feelings, we, as a country, are united!!

At one point my wife and I had to get away for a couple of days. We left our little town of Nassau, NY and headed to CT. We were amazed and proud of the number of American flags we saw. Flown, hanging from homes and businesses, and flown from automobiles, and motorcycles. It made us proud!

Many individuals rallied the American spirit on the Internet by sending and forwarding messages of encouragement and hope for this nation. In dedication to those lost, and those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, I list here some of the items I have received.

John J. Chapman Jr

A Prayer for Our Nation---

Dear Heavenly Father,
We are moved by the alarming news and crisis that our country is facing. This, the greatest nation, founded in the belief that "In God We Trust" & the "One Nation Under God". Please have mercy on those suffering, hurting and in fear, and give wisdom & strength to those who are assisting. May the forces of evil be broken by your power and may we humble before thee, our strength and refuge.

Give wisdom to our President & all our leaders and bring your comforting peace through the power of your Holy Spirit. Help us to reach out to those that have been affected by this tragedy.

In the name of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. AMEN

Our Flag


I am Your Flag
I am the symbol of the living America, the badge of its greatness, the emblem of its destiny.

I am faith. It is I who keep men mindful of their priceless heritage, life, liberty, and the right to pursue happiness.

I am hope. I represent the land of promise wherein, already, man's loftiest dreams have approached closer to realization than
ever before on this earth.

I am life. Each strand and fiber of my being is a memorial, dedicated to the sacrifices of all those strong men and steadfast
women who have lived and died in the nation's service, that it might live forever.

I am tolerance. So long as I shall wave, all people under my protection may freely worship, think, write and speak, undaunted by the shadow of fear.

I am justice, tempered with mercy. For I am friend to the oppressed and downtrodden of every land.

I am a sign of the future. I wave over schools throughout the nation and in them the nation's future is molded.

I am the flag of the United States... hope for peace on earth.


I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor,truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshiped - I am saluted.
I am loved - I am revered.
I am respected - I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill,
the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome,
and the beaches of Normandy, Guam, Okinawa, Korea,
and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam now me.
I was there.
I lead my troops.
I was dirty, battleworn, and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled
on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled upon, burned and torn and trampled on
the streets of MY country.
And when it's by those whom I've served in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth
and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness
to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn into strips
and used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent
at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud.



We'll go forward from this moment

It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster.
You beast.
You unspeakable bastard.
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us?
What was it you hoped we would learn?
Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people.

We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless.

We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement.

We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak.

You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world.

You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before. But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force.

When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not.

What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.


You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well.

On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us?

It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred.

If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange:

You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of.
You don't know what you just started.
But you're about to learn.

Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001 Miami Herald
Columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr.


Where Was God on September 11th?

I had a very dear friend question my faith in God right after the terrorist attack on America. Her question was simply put: “Where is your God today?" She was very hurt, as all Americans were, so I tried not to react defensively.

Since that moment I have prayed and grieved over the disastrous events. However, I believe I have the answer. I know where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001! He was very busy. First of all, He was trying to discourage anyone from taking those flights. Those four flights together held over 1,000 passengers, and there were only 266 aboard.

He was on those four commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm. Not one of the family members who were called by a loved-one from one of the hijacked planes said that passengers were screaming in the background. On one of the flights, He was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the hijackers.

He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees at the World Trade Center. After all, only around 20,000 were at the towers when the first jet hit. Since the buildings hold over 50,000 workers, this was a miracle in itself. How many of the people who were employed at the WTC told the media that they were late for work or they had traffic delays?

He was holding up 2-110 story buildings so that two-thirds of the workers could get out. I was so amazed that the top of the towers didn't topple when the jets impacted.

Although this is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in my life, I can see God's miracles in every bit of it. I keep thinking about my friend and praying for her every chance I have. I can't imagine going through such a difficult time and not believing in God. Life would be hopeless.



You say you will never forget where you were when you
heard the news, Sept. 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a
man who called his wife to say "Good-Bye." I held his
fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say,
"Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK...I am
ready to go."

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast
to their children. I held her up as she tried to
understand his words and as she realized he wasn't
coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman
cried out to me for help. "I have been knocking on the
door of your heart for 50 years!" I said. "Of course I will
show you the way home-only believe on Me now."

I was at the base of the building with the Priest
ministering to the injured and devastated souls.
I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He
heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with
every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken.
I was in the very hearts of the believers there. Comforting
and assuring them that their Faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next
to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every
name-though they did NOT all know Me. Some met me for
the first time on the 100th floor. Some sought me out in
their last breath. Some couldn't hear me calling to them
through the smoke and flames, "Come to Me...this way...
take my hand."

Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.

But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day--you may not
know why, But I DO. However, if you were there in that
explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?

September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for
you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there
for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found.
Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go."

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

....GOD, Your Heavenly Father




The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteouness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
they rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 23

What a Difference A Day Makes
Author Unknown

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

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

On Monday we were talking about athletes as our heroes.
On Tuesday we learned what it really means to be a hero.

On Monday people went to work at the World Trade Center as usual.
On Tuesday their lives were cut short.

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

On Monday there were people upset that they had to wait in line at the grocery store.
On Tuesday they stood in line for hours to give blood.

On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses.
On Tuesday, grief stricken, they sang 'God Bless America'.

On Monday we were angry about the traffic and worried about getting to work on-time.
On Tuesday we were happy to have a job to go to.

On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived.
On Tuesday we saw "others" mourning the death of Americans.

On Monday, children had solid families.
On Tuesday, they were orphans.

On Monday the president was in Florida to read to our children.
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children.

On Monday we emailed jokes.
On Tuesday we emailed words of strength, solidarity, and hope.

It is a sad irony 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.


What Difference can you make for Today?


If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.
If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that they are safe.
If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand.

If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger,seek to heal the sadness or anger of another.
If you wish to experience Love, Love another.
If you wish to know God, see God in everyone.

A Letter Home

This an e-mail from an Ensign stationed aboard the USS Winston S. Churchill that was forwarded to me. To see pictures of the LUTJENS passing the Churchill, go to the USS Winston Churchill's web site.

Dear Dad,

Well, we are still out at sea, with little direction as to what our next priority is. The remainder of our port visits, which were to be centered around max liberty and goodwill to the United Kingdom, have all but been canceled. We have spent every day since the attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean, standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of our time. It hasn't been that fun I must confess, and to be even more honest, a lot of people are frustrated at the fact that they either can't be home, or we don't have more direction right now. We have seen the articles and the photographs, and they are sickening.

Being isolated as we are, I don't think we appreciate the full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects. About two hours ago the junior officers were called to the bridge to conduct Shiphandling drills. We were about to do a man overboard when we got a call from the LUTJENS (D185), a German warship that was moored ahead of us on the pier in Plymouth, England. While in port, the WINSTON S CHURCHILL and the LUETJENS got together for a sports day/cookout on our fantail, and we made some pretty good friends. Now at sea they called over on bridge-to-bridge, requesting to pass us close up on our port side, to say goodbye.

We prepared to render them honors on the bridge wing, and the Captain told the crew to come topside to wish them farewell. As they were making their approach, our Conning Officer announced through her binoculars that they were flying an American flag.

As they came even closer, we saw that it was flying at half-mast. The bridge wing was crowded with people as the Boatswain's Mate blew two whistles- Attention to Port- the ship came up alongside and we saw that the entire crew of the German ship were manning the rails, in their dress blues.
They had made up a sign that was displayed on the side that read "We Stand By You".

Needless to say there was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and we cut our salutes. It was probably the most powerful thing I have seen in my entire life and more than a few of us fought to retain our composure.

It was a beautiful day outside today. We are no longer at liberty to divulge over unsecure e-mail our location, but we could not have asked for a finer day at sea. The German Navy did an incredible thing for this crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks.

It's amazing to think that only a half-century ago things were quite different,and to see the unity that is being demonstrated throughout Europe and the world makes us all feel proud to be
out here doing our job. After the ship pulled away and we prepared to begin our man overboard drills the Officer of the Deck turned to me and said "I'm staying Navy."

I'll write you when I know more about when I'll be home, but for now, this is probably the best news that I could send you.

Love you guys.

I AM The World Trade Center!

I am a World Trade Center tower, standing tall in the clear blue sky, feeling a violent blow in my side, and I am a towering inferno of pain and suffering, imploding upon myself and collapsing to the ground.

May I rest in peace.

I am a terrified passenger on a hijacked airplane not knowing where we are going or that I am riding on fuel tanks that will be instruments of death, and I am a worker arriving to my office not knowing that in just a moment my future will be obliterated.

May I rest in peace.

I am a pigeon in the plaza between the two towers eating crumbs from someone's breakfast when fire rains down on me from the skies, and I am a bed of flowers admired daily by thousands of tourists now buried under five stories of rubble.

May I rest in peace.

I am a firefighter sent into dark corridors of smoke and debris on a mission of mercy only to have it collapse around me, and I am a rescue worker risking my life to save lives, who is very aware that I may not make it out alive.

May I rest in peace.

I am a survivor who has fled down the stairs and out of the building to safety who knows that nothing will ever be the same in my soul again, and I am a doctor in a hospital treating patients burned from head to toe who knows that these horrible images will remain in my mind forever.

May I know peace.

I am a tourist in Times Square looking up at the giant TV screens thinking I'm seeing a disaster movie as I watch the Twin Towers crash to the ground, and I am a New York woman sending e-mail to friends and family letting them know that I am safe.

May I know peace.

I am a piece of paper that was on someone's desk this morning and now I'm debris scattered by the wind across lower Manhattan, and I am a stone in the graveyard at Trinity Church covered with soot from the buildings that once stood proudly above me, death meeting death.

May I rest in peace.

I am a dog sniffing in the rubble for signs of life, doing my best to be of service, even though my paws are bloodied and worn from broken glass, and I am a blood donor waiting in line to make a simple but very needed contribution for the victims.

May I know peace.

I am a resident in an apartment in downtown New York who has been forced to evacuate my home, and I am a resident in an apartment uptown who has walked 100 blocks home in a stream of other refugees.

May I know peace.

I am a family member who has just learned that someone I love has died, and I am a pastor who must comfort someone who has suffered a heart-breaking loss.

May I know peace.

I am a loyal American who feels violated and worries that people who look and sound like me are all going to be blamed for this tragedy.

May I know peace.

I am a frightened city dweller who wonders whether I'll ever feel safe in a skyscraper again, and I am a pilot who wonders whether there will ever be a way to make the skies truly safe.

May I know peace.

I am the owner of a small store with five employees that has been put out of business by this tragedy, and I am an executive in a multinational corporation who is concerned about the cost of doing business in a terrorized world.

May I know peace.

I am a visitor to New York City who purchases postcards of the World Trade Center Twin Towers that are no more, and I am a television reporter trying to put into words the terrible things I have seen.

May I know peace.

I am a boy in New Jersey waiting for a father who will never come home, and I am a boy in a faraway country rejoicing in the streets of my village because someone has hurt the hated Americans.

May I know peace.

I am a terrorist whose hatred for America knows no limit and I am willing to die to prove it, and I am a terrorist sympathizer standing with all the enemies of American capitalism and imperialism, and I am a master strategist for a terrorist group who planned this abomination. My heart is not yet capable of openness, tolerance, and loving.

May I know peace.

I am a citizen of the world glued to my television set, fighting back my rage and despair at these horrible events, and I am a person of faith struggling to forgive the unforgivable, praying for the consolation of those who have lost loved ones, calling upon the merciful beneficence of God/ Yahweh/ Allah/ Spirit/ My Higher Power/ Love.

May I know peace.

I am a child of God who believes that we are all children of God and we are all part of each other.

May we all know peace.


An open letter to a terrorist:

Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies, to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America.

Why? Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn't about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers, America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a bunch of bodies. America is about an IDEA. An idea, that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part, like you envisioned living, and pursue Happiness. (No guarantees that you'll reach it, but you can sure try!)

Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: "If you can not see my point, then feel my pain." This concept is alien to Americans. We live in a country where we don't have to see your point. But you're free to have one. We don't have to listen to your speech. But you're free to say one. Don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you. We don't agree with each other in this country, almost as a matter of pride. We're a collection of guys that don't agree, called States. We united our individual states to protect ourselves from tyranny in the world. Another idea, we made up on the spot. You CAN make it up as you go, when it's your country.

If you're free enough.

Yeah, we're fat, sloppy, easy-going goofs most of the time. That's an unfortunate image to project to the world, but it comes of feeling free and easy about the world you live in. It's unfortunate too, because people start to forget that when you attack Americans, they tend to fight like a cornered badger. The first we knew of the War of 1812, was when England burned Washington D.C. to the ground. Didn't turn out like England thought it was going to, and it's not going to turn out like you think, either. Sorry, but you're not the first bully on our shores, just the most recent.

No Marquis of Queensbury rules for Americans, either. We were the FIRST and so far, only country in the world to use nuclear weapons in anger. Horrific idea, nowadays? News for you bucko, it was back then too, but we used it anyway. Only had two of them in the whole world and we used 'em both. Grandpa Jones worked on the Manhattan Project. Told me once, that right up until they threw the switch, the physicists were still arguing over whether the Uranium alone would fission, or whether it would start a fissioning chain reaction that would eat everything. But they threw the switch anyway, because we had a War to win. Does that tell you something about American Resolve?

So who just declared War on us? It would be nice to point to some real estate, like the good old days. Unfortunately, we're probably at war with random camps, in far-flung places. Who think they're safe. Just like the Barbary Pirates did, IIRC. Better start sleeping with one eye open.

There's a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom. Even if they misuse it. The Marielistas that Castro emptied out of his prisons, were overjoyed to find out how much freedom there was. First thing they did when they hit our shores, was run out and buy guns. The ones that didn't end up dead, ended up in prisons. It was a big PITA then (especially in south Florida), but you're only the newest PITA, not the first.

You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US! American Spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it. Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit.

Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time.

Sleep tight, if you can. We're coming.

Charles Brennan



An Ode to America

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
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 Stallone, 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 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 its 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 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
commonplaces. I thought things over, but I reached only one conclusion.

Only freedom can work such miracles!




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

They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud
"I have a dream!" and once he did
The Newcomers 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 Newcomers said, "You died not in vain."

From a man on sticks one could hear
"The only thing we have to fear. . ."
The Newcomers 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 Newcomers knew that this
Meant time had come for them 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! Black man, White man, Brown man, Yellow man
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


I am a New Yorker.
I do not live in the five boroughs or on the Island or Upstate.
I may live hundreds or thousands of miles away
Or I may live just over the GW Bridge
But I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker.
Whatever took me out of New York:
Business, family or hating the cold
did not take New York out of me.
My accent may have faded and my pace may have slowed
But I am a New Yorker

I am a New Yorker.
I was raised on Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rockefeller Plaza,
The Yankees or the Mets,
Jones Beach or Rye Beach or one of the beaches on the sound.
I know that "THE END" means Montauk.
Because I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker.
When I go on vacation, I never look up.
Skyscrapers are something I take for granted.
The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are part of me.
Taxis and noise and subways and "get outa heah" don't rattle me.
Because I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker.
I was raised on cultural diversity before it was politically correct.
I eat Greek food and Italian food, Jewish and Middle Eastern food and
Chinese food because they are all American food to me.
I don't get mad when people speak other languages in my presence,
Because my relatives got to this country via Ellis Island and chose to
They were New Yorkers.

I am a New Yorker.
People who have never been to New York have misunderstood me.
My friends and family work in the industries, professions and businesses
that benefit all Americans.
My firefighters died trying to save New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers.
They died trying to save Americans and non-Americans.
Because they were New Yorkers.

I am a New Yorker.
I feel the pain of my fellow New Yorkers.
I mourn the loss of my beautiful city.
I feel and dread that New York will never be the same.
But then I remember:
I am a New Yorker.

And New Yorkers have:
Tenacity, strength and courage way above the norm,
Compassion and caring for our fellow citizens,
Love and pride in our city, in our state, in our country,
Intelligence, experience and education par excellence,
Ability, dedication and energy above and beyond,
Faith--no matter what religion we practice

Terrorists hit America in its heart.
But America's heart still beats strong.
Demolish the steel in our buildings, but it doesn't touch the steel in our
Hit us in the pocketbook; but we'll parlay what we have left into a
End innocent lives leaving widows and orphans, but we'll take care of them.
Because they are New Yorkers.

Wherever we live, whatever we do, whoever we are
There are New Yorkers in every state and every city of this nation.
We will not abandon our city,
We will not abandon our brothers and sisters,
We will not abandon the beauty, creativity and diversity that
New York represents
Because we are New Yorkers.
And we are proud to be New Yorkers.


Author Unknown

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.


A Poem - Remembering September 11th

by: Joni Ames

I've cried to God as I've beheld
The world wrapped up in fear
Of lack and death and war that looms
To snatch lives held so dear

I said, "My God! - Have you not heard
The newsmen on TV?!
Do you not know the shape we're in?!
Do you not care for me?!"

"I'm scared, Dear Jesus! - Help us! - Please!
There's news of fear and war
And I'm afraid, Lord - I admit! -
Of what might be in store."

"Peace, be still, My child," He said
"And hear now what I say
For I have seen and heard the cries
Of those who, to Me, pray.

"Keep your eyes upon ME now
Not what you hear or see
And, as you do, you'll keep My peace -
IF your mind stays on ME!"

"It matters not what one man says
Or even many more
For I am God, and I decide
Each day what lies in store."

"I've told you there would be such times
When, of these things, You'd hear
I told you so you'd be PREPARED
And FULL OF PEACE, not fear."

"For all these things MUST be fulfilled
Yet MY WORD fails not
For I AM still your Hiding Place
As all the fires rage hot."

"You're hid beneath MY shadow now And you can rest in Me
Yes you can trust My Words of LOVE
To last eternally."

"For I'm your Father, Counselor, Friend
Your Alpha and your End
And if this was the world's last day
Be sure, for you, I'd send."

"I've promised I'd save you a place
If you would stay in Me
Stay pure and faithful, eyes on Me
And, victory, you'll see."

"I can't tell you if it's 'the end' -
NO human man can know
But I CAN tell you, it IS close,
So be prepared to go."

"Each day I give you, reach in love
To save another soul
For snatching them from Me for Hell
Is truly Satan's goal."

"Occupy until I come
Live each day FULL in ME
Just keep your eyes upon MY face
And know that I DO see."

"I see the world, I see YOUR LIFE
And I DO care for YOU
And know, no matter WHAT occurs
My love for you stands TRUE."

"I'm Alpha and Omega - God -
I'm King and Lord of ALL
I'll be right near to care for you
As, on My name, you call."

"For I can change the hearts of Kings
And I, their hearts, do try
And I'M the one who formed this world
And says when it shall die."

"So, USE this time to SEEK THE LOST
And tell them of My Love
That they, too, may be saved and live
With Me, again, above."

"Don't listen to fear's voice - hear MINE!
Then STAND on what you've heard
Don't fear yours or the world's fate -
It's destined by MY WORD."

"Keep your eyes on ME, My Child,
And let Me wipe each tear
For I am God and IN CONTROL -
So live in peace, not fear."




(The stains that appeared when Lady Liberty was restored now look like tears)

By: Dana Holland, Staten Island NY

I wonder what she thought
As she stood there, strong and tall.
She couldn't turn away,
She was forced to watch it all.

Did she long to offer comfort
As Her country bled?
With her arm forever frozen
High above her head.

She could not shield her eyes
She could not hide her face
She just stared across the water
Keeping Freedom's Place.

The smell of smoke and terror
Somehow reduced her size
So small within the harbor
But still we recognized.....

How dignified and beautiful
On a day so many died
I wonder what she thought,
And I know she must have cried.

This was written on the evening of September 11, 2001







America's Tragedy is felt by the rest of the world!
Click the above link to see how the rest of the world paid tribute to our disaster.

"THESE are the times that try men's souls.... Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." Thomas Paine 1776

The words of Thomas Paine, issued in 1776 concerning the coming American Revolution, unfortunately, still hold true today.

"Ray of Sunshine"
by Mari

May there be a ray of sunshine That dwells within your heart To see you through the dark times, And bid the clouds depart. For there surely is a rainbow, That follows every rain To banish all the shadows And make you smile again....







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