September 11, 2001
Editor's Note: This poem was first published on the anniversary of 9/11 last year.
Woke up that morning to start the day
Got ready as usual, then left on my way
Went straight to work to put in my hours
Not a thought crossed my mind about Twin Towers
The day started out going quite well
When the silence was broken, by an emotional yell
"A news flash from New York, the town has been hit"
Is this really happening? I thought, as I sit
Our enemies had hit us and hit us hard
A day we'd remember, our hearts were jarred
Tears were shed, many lives were lost
Mass destruction, endless costs
Many heroes that day, but the bravest of all
Are the ones on the plane, who decided to fall
They stood up for what they thought was right
Said their "Goodbyes" and took the plane down on sight
Now they want to take "GOD" from our Pledge of Allegiance
Do away with our Savior, Creator and Strength? Doesn't make sense
Those who don't like it, have freedom to leave
But don't try to change us from what we believe
These are the things that make America strong
Makes "God Bless America" a meaningful song
America is stronger; our faith bought us through
God Bless America and the red, white and blue.
A Sept. 11 memory from former Tribune reporter Michael Pommier:
I was sitting in my chemistry class during my junior year at Northeast High School when the math teacher from across the hall stuck his head in the door and asked my teacher to speak to him for a minute. She didn't close the door, so we could only hear her side of the conversation. We heard her say in a very calm voice, "You're joking ... I don't believe you ... Lt me go see for myself."
A few minutes later she returned to the classroom and we asked what was going on. Still calm if it wasn't a big deal, she said, "America is being attacked, someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center."
At this time, our class work became insignificant and the hallways were filled with a one-way flow of students and teachers out to the commons area where there was a small television that was only on to show the news. We saw for ourselves the news coverage of the smoke billowing out of the buildings with our jaws on the ground.
The rest of the day was pretty much a blur because the only thing I was thinking was how lucky I was to be living in little Franklin, Kan., where something so unthinkable would never happen. I remember lying in bed that night, with the images of the day's events burned into my memory. My oldest brother was standing in the doorway and I asked him what he thought about everything, if he thought it was as serious as they were making it out to be on the news. He said, "I don't Michael, I just don't know."
My father's generation had the Kennedy assassination as their "I remember what I was doing when ..." moment; my grandfather's generation had the bombing of Pearl Harbor; it didn't take long for me to know that 9/11 was my generation's moment to remember.