9-11 Tribute and Remembrance

by Kim Garvis
(Durham, Connecticut)

9 ~ 11
Tribute and Remembrance
September 11, 2001

To those who lost their lives without warning…
To those who lost their lives in rescue…
To those who live on with the memories of that day…

Abraham Lincoln believed in the potential of this great country. His words are as true today as they ever were, America “is the last best hope of the Earth.”

Twas on a fair September morn, the year two thousand one
Life was changed forever; smoke-filled skies blocked the sun
Eyes turned heavenward in the East, we solemnly pondered why
So many innocent people this eleventh day would die.

New York’s Twin Towers first were hit, in moments both were gone
Our nation’s capitol next attacked, the mighty Pentagon
Above a field in Shanksville, the fourth plane met its fate
Humanity cannot justify such evil and such hate.

Even before this nation shared in the perilous fight
People aboard Flight 93 showed brave and determined might
Knowing that we were in danger and certain their own deaths were near
They proved their uncommon valor, and overtook the enemy here.

Many unknown heroes on land and in the air
Saved the lives of strangers, simply, because they cared
United together in conscience, joined in a common quest
Proving to God and the rest of the world they passed the ultimate test.

Brave firemen, police, EMS and clergy, responded so quickly that day
Performing their duties without thought of self, soon the towers began to sway
They kept to their tasks while in danger; they knew full well the cost
Then the pillars came crashing down, now our rescuers, too, were lost.

As we gazed at the scenes before us, transfixed, in chilled disbelief
Survivors emerged from the massive haze, shaken and filled with grief
The chaos shifted to order, aide poured in from throughout the land
Our leaders poised and ready were determined to take a stand.

Our country is not disheartened, nor weakened by these attacks
The depth of our courage, honor and love, the evil enemy lacks
The terrorists thought they’d destroy us, a goal they failed to achieve
For we’re stronger and more united than they could ever believe.

Our soldiers are fighting relentlessly now, giving all that they have got
The torch passed to them is carried with pride and the battles fiercely fought
Fear not my brothers and sisters, steel thy will and follow their lead
For our people unite, without question, especially in times of great need.

Concerned Americans, young and old, anxious to help in some way
Support our soldiers and leaders in their efforts day by day
Our nation is strong…don’t worry…carry on with your daily lives
‘Til that day when our troops are welcomed home by their country, husbands and wives.

There will be days when the struggle seems more than we can bear
These will be the most desperate times for this country in our care
We must rise above our weariness, any doubts, or awesome fear
And remember a brave man’s final words, “Let’s Roll!” heard loud and clear.

Our forefathers’ envisioned this country with a future so vivid and bright
Ideals held firm in mind and heart through many uncertain nights
We’ve struggled to mold this nation as “…the founding principles…intended it to be.”1
A land of equality in every way, and all men living free.

Defending our hard-won freedoms with abiding faith in our might
To protect our precious homeland, we will do what is just and right
Old Glory has flown through strife-ridden nights, though she was tattered and torn
Ever-present, she reminds us still, the reasons why our country was born.

As we struggle to come to grips, with events of that September day
Let our new found commitment and patriot’s pride protect the American way
Lincoln believed in this country, its potential and every man’s worth
Words spoken more than a century ago, “the last best hope of the Earth.”2

Let us never forget the thousands of those whose lives were claimed
Honor and remember their spirit; they did not die in vain
The memories of all that transpired must, forever, be kept alive
To protect our country from future harm, our vigilance must never die.

Say a prayer for this nation, beautiful and free
One people, a rainbow of color, for all the world to see
Many faiths and customs living together in peace
Encouraging open minds and hearts, “from sea to shining sea.”

Say a prayer for America, and the liberties we hold so dear
“Freedom of speech and religion; freedom from want and fear”
We’ll do what we must, we love her, and all that she stands for is true
“The land of the free and home of the brave” clothed in red, white and blue.

Kim Garvis, 2001

1, 2 Making Patriots, Walter Berns, The University Chicago Press, 2001

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