The horror of September 11, 2001 led many people to compose 9-11 poems. The authors of the poems, writings, and video below come from all walks of life and all ages...school children, a father, and even a columnist from Romania.
They provide a way to remember and honor those who lost their lives and offer hope for our country and the future - lest we not forget!
Share your own thoughts or prayers. Find out how at the end of this page.
In a New York classroom one year after 9-11, students composed the following 9-11 poem. A relative of the teacher had perished on that tragic day in Tower One of the World Trade Center. The victim left behind a 3-year-old.
List of “Don’t Forgets” and “Remembers”
We were eight.
Before September 11th, we would wake up with a list of “Don’t
Don’t forget to wash your face
Don’t forget to brush your teeth
Don’t forget to do your homework
Don’t forget to wear your jacket
Don’t forget to clean your room
Don’t forget to take a bath
After September 11th, we wake up with a list of “Remembers”
Remember to greet the sun each morning
Remember to enjoy every meal
Remember to thank your parents for their hard work
Remember to honor those who keep you safe
Remember to value each person you meet
Remember to respect other’s beliefs
Now we are nine.
One month following the attack of 9-11, eleven year old Aaron Walsh wrote the following poem in his school notebook, trying to make sense of this horrible thing that had happened:
I Hold in My Hands
~ Aaron Walsh, 2001
I hold in my hands ... The dust. The dust and wreckage of the towers. Even though I wasn't there, I can still feel it. It has damaged my hands with dirt. It has damaged my heart with sorrow. It has damaged my body with fear, and it has damaged my life with war.
I hold in my hands ... My life. My life could soon be filled with war, cruelty at its worst. Miles away, I can hear the planes' roaring engines, gliding through the air.
I hold in my hands ... My future. My life ahead. Whether it will be filled with war or peace, we will not know. My future keeps me going from dawn to dusk.
I hold in my hands ... Hope. Hope for the future. Hope for peace. Hope for my country's freedom. And hope for America to win this war on terrorism.
9-11 has not only inspired people to write beautiful poetry but also to write books plus compile some amazing DVDs. Just use the keyword box to search for them!
The following 9-11 poem was written by Paul Spreadbury on September 14, 2001. Some have criticized Mr. Spreadbury for content, grammar or style. Yet the simple words were an attempt to explain to his young child what happened to those who lost their lives.
Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven
~ Paul Spreadbury, York Beach, ME, email@example.com
Two thousand one, nine eleven
Five thousand plus arrive in heaven.
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait
A tall 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 says, “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 says, “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 three thousand plus heroes,
Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven.
A Romanian columnist, Cornel Nistorescu, wrote this article on September 24, 2001. He had watched a celebrity telethon in New York for victims of the 9-11 attack. Though not a 9-11 poem, the "Ode" is appropriate here as well.
An Ode to America
~ Cornel Nistorescu
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 astonishing mixture
of civilizations. Some of them are nearly 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 colours 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, Silvester
Stalone, 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 the American soul. What
neither George W. Bush, nor Bill Clinton, nor 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 sacrifice for their fellow
humans? 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 buy.
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!
A student named Lindsay from a school called Franklin Elementary wrote this 9-11 poem.
On this day, my heart
crumbled, On this day,
I really trembled.
world changed in
so many ways? You know we have
God to praise! Ask Him for peace in
your heart and mind, you’ll have
comfort all the time!
If I Knew
~ Dr. H Solomon
If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear
Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.
Those twin towers
Standing tall with pride,
Fell with grieving hearts.
Stunned, America cried.
But we’re still standing.
Bin Laden tried
To crush our land,
But we stood our ground
With our flag in hand.
And we’re still standing.
Red for valor
And the blood that fell.
White for purity
Our heroes tell.
Blue for the justice
That will be done,
Proving once more
These colors don’t run.
And we’re still standing.
“If They Could Speak” is a 9-11 poem written by Rosanne Pellicane. It was selected as the keynote for the permanent 9-11 exhibit at the New York City Fire Museum. It honors the 343 firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.
If They Could Speak
~ Rosanne Pellicane, 2001
Please don’t be afraid. Yes, life is different now but remember when it was beautiful? Well, it will be again, though not the same.
The wounds will heal, your tears will dry and though scars
remain, I know you are strong enough to live through the pain.
Do not grieve and linger in the shadows of graves.
Go out into the sunshine and tell everyone that I was here.
Let our enemy know that when we were together we lived, and worked and loved.
And though I am gone, you will carry on for me because you must.
Tell my family how much I loved them and still do.
Remember the good we shared, the life we created, and
walk forward with noble dreams.
God can’t fill a shattered heart or a clenched fist.
Let fear die and let love flow again like a river.
So as the smoke rises high above the ash,
gather all your strength and rebuild some new, something better.
It’s not impossible.
It’s what I would do for you.
Just one last thing, surely you must know,
I never wanted to leave you.
I was captured by fate,
escorted by angels.
And though you might feel you are alone,
you are not and neither am I …
Read the book Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11 by Bonnie McEneaney who lost her husband on 9/11.
Review and Product Description from Amazon:
Bonnie McEneany has created an amazing piece of work validating that the love bonds created by our loved ones on earth never die, but continue on. Through moving stories, insights and incredible spirit messages, she takes you on a journey of love, in which your soul will forever be transformed. (James Van Praagh, Spiritual Medium/Author of UNFINISHED BUSINESS)
When Bonnie McEneaney's husband, Eamon, died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, she thought she had lost him forever. And then something unexpected happened that would shake her to the core and reassure her that her husband was still with her. As Bonnie reveals in this groundbreaking book, she began to have experiences that convinced her that her husband, in spirit, was sending her signs, indeed messages, that he was still present and watching over his family.
A mother and former business executive, Bonnie was always the rational one, and quite skeptical of the spiritual world and all that it represents, but after talking to a number of other families and friends of loved ones lost on 9/11, she realized she was not alone.
Numerous others connected to the tragedy—from financial executives to stay-at-home moms—described their own experiences: premonitions, signs, dreams, visitations, and communications through mediums and psychics. Bonnie began recording their compelling stories in a groundbreaking four-year-long project, illuminating the power of love and the unbreakable bond love creates.
Now, in Messages, she shares these miraculous spiritual stories while weaving in her own heartfelt message of comfort and hope for all those who are searching for their own deeper connections, proving that love and relationships can continue after death.
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What Other Visitors Have Said
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From Twisted Beams From twisted beams, hopes and dreams,
Clouds came down to bathe the ground
With memories of souls departed.
Yet to bloom again as the dawn rises, …
Forever and Always Its September 11, 2013. 12 years have past. Yet we still remember. I can remember the day like it was yesterday.
I was 6 years old, confused and scared... …
Scars They say when a bone heals it is stronger.
America is standing in the ghost of the twin towers
And then they are real again, true and proud
We wouldn't …
I Remember 9/11 For the heroes and the victims of 9/11, alive and in our hearts:
I Remember 9/11
The pain, the tears, and the fall
How saddening the sight
Of good …
JPJresident On CNN we saw it all,
With a roar and a crash and a grave fireball,
The planes did strike, the man did fall,
Where was the God to whom we call?
Father Son A young boy sits at his father's feet, the fire blazing warming.
‘Dad I think I know what I want to do now. I want to be a police man. I want to protect …
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 Look what someone has gone and done
Turned two buildings into none.
The Pentagon was the next one hit
Will this nightmare ever quit?
Who would …
9/11 Just a few seconds to change the fragility of the world we know
Just one mindless act to shake our lives as far down as the foundations go
Lost not just …
It Started Out a Beautiful Day It started out a beautiful day that 9/11/2001,
But soon it turned out to be a horror like no other one.
Two planes in the sky, two towers crumbled to …
I hope they knew Jesus Not rated yet We take life for granted, rush about each day; go to work, expect to come home, on weekends we play.
And if we remember we take a minute to pray, but …
The day we all cried Not rated yet I stood frozen,
I wasn't free,
I was devastated,
To what was in front of me,
I cried rapidly,
Patriotism Not rated yet Up early in Banff, Canada packing to return home when shocking and horrifying news appeared on TV. Seized by a strong sense of being an American and feeling …
Where Were You That Day Not rated yet Where were you,
Where were you that day,
When the whole world fell,
Crashed and burned our faith?
Fire, screams, cries for help,
People leaping …
That Morning Many Years Ago Not rated yet That morning many years ago
On a train bound for San Francisco
I spoke on the phone with a friend
It must have been just before 7
And the date that …
Everything Changed that Day Not rated yet At Disneyworld, backed up in line,
Not to buy a ticket, pay a fine,
They are searching bags,
Thank you Bin Laden
Seriously you united us
We are …
An Ode From Britain Not rated yet fire and panic and rage and pain
the whole world seems to have gone insane
on an odyssey to oblivion
two nine nine six souls carried to oblivion
Twin Towers Not rated yet They're gone
The towers are gone
Like a flame
with all the blame
Like the wind and the rain
Like the pain and sain
The towers they're …
A Retreat Full Day Not rated yet 9/11 was a regretful day.
The last time the Twin Towers would stand unglazed. People falling to their death, and request they got death. Please don't …
After 9/11 Not rated yet After 9/11
After terrorists tried to break up our great nation
After the dirt and soot had been swept up
After we had all said our prayers
After we …
Freedom to me Not rated yet They flew planes into the towers but, that only made us strong.
I say that fighting you is right though, some may think that it is wrong.
Real Americans …
2001-still going on Not rated yet from 2001 one
it seemed to start
The planes and buildings
Our freedom was tried
and they thought to bring down our nation
Thought to bring …
9-11 Tribute and Remembrance Not rated yet 9 ~ 11
Tribute and Remembrance
September 11, 2001
To those who lost their lives without warning…
To those who lost …
9/11 The World Trade Center Not rated yet The world came to a stop the day the towers fell and everyone inside was going through a hell!
People calling loved ones just to say good-bye, some …
In Loving Memory Not rated yet Now I lay me down to sleep,
I think of those who will never wake.
And although Sept 11th may come & go
the memories you can never take.
I pray each …
Tears of Soul Not rated yet To the child,
who will never understand what really happened...
To the father, to the mother who knew they were not going to make it back home...
One Thing I Learned From 9/11 Is To.... Not rated yet One Thing I Learned From 9/11 Is To.....
By: Kayla Gipson
MVMS Mr. Lazono 1st Period American History
N :not really understanding what …
Some Have Forgotten Not rated yet The day I sat on the phone at work, I heard the news.
I thought that it was just a dream, although I was awake.
I recall the tears of my cohorts, and …
Unbroken Not rated yet Here we stand, as tall as ever.
In this rubble we walk, broken?
We pray for the ones who saved the still living.
For the devil was taking …
My Thoughts For Those Who Died Not rated yet Dear God,
Even though I'm not from America but England,
I may just be a 11 year old school boy,
But I was born that year,
I give my respects to America, …
WE CANNOT FORGET!! Not rated yet Michael Perez 8th grader at Driscoll Middle School
October 26, 2011
I DON'T WANT TO FORGET THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO DIED FOR THIS COUNTRY!.
It came …
We Shall Never Forget (9-11 Tribute) Not rated yet Let the world always remember,
That fateful day in September,
And the ones who answered duty's call,
Should be remembered by us all.
Who left the …
9/11/11 (Ten Years Passed) Not rated yet I can't believe it's been ten years since that sad September day. The weeks, the months, the years flew by; though the thoughts don't go away.
The horror …
We shall always remain free (9-12-01) Not rated yet I was stunned to silence, as many of us were when I heard about the act of hate that had just occurred. I didn't really understand what the hell was going …