Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nine Eleven

My Stand (An affirmation)

”My Stand” first appeared as part of Isaac Stolzfuts’ Diary on September 11th, 2003. Today, a decade after the horrible events of Nine Eleven I have altered it to fit my own persona.

I was born on September 11th, 1944.
I was in my classroom on September 11th, 2001,
I walked from desk to desk, and
On bended knee I was
Present to student supplication -
“What do you think about this shape here?”
“What about this line?”
“I can’t make this work –
How do I draw this hand?”
“This perspective isn’t right –
How do I get this sidewalk to look flat?”

My mind wandered, and I
Thought about cake, gag gifts and cards
Waiting in the office for lunch break.
My mind wandered, and I
Talked to myself, wondering,
“How did I get to be FIFTY-SEVEN!”

I n t e r r u p t I o n !

P. A. system sputter –

“Please stop what you are doing.
Turn your Televisions on,
And tune to any station.”

I hit the remote, and TV blinks,
Stentorian to my mind
The anchor’s voice, a fragment,
Even and measured announcing
And, no longer doing our Art,
We watch thousands die,
And it feels as though we are there,
Engulfed in that ebon cloud of dust,
The taste of death in our mouths.
Jenna cries (name changed to protect her innocence)
“That’s got to be just a movie, Dr. Klomp,
Right?” And Henry (NCPHI) says,
"Where are all the super heroes
When you need them?"

Today I have the answer for Henry.
The super heroes are everywhere – they
Are the fallen on Nine Eleven - they
Are the thousands that have died
Since Nine Eleven - you, Henry
Are one of the super Heroes -
Our public employees, police, firemen,
And yes, teachers too are the super heroes
Super heroes are fighting the foreign wars,
And we pray for their safety,
As we pray for the wars to end.

I was born on September 11, 1944,
Near the end of World War Two and that earlier Holocaust.
A Surreal world of horror both then and in 2001 -
Flowers and fireworks versus cinders and soot.
A world in which our best die on foreign soil.
A world in which the lost lives of foreign
Women and children are not counted.
A world in which stolen artifacts
Testament to the beginning of civilization
Are casualties to our “horror terrori.”
A world in which we each partake daily
In this Twenty-first Century crusade.

I do not believe in these wars.
I do not believe in this version
Of the "New American Century."
I do believe in a United States that stands for peace and trust.
I do believe in a United States that leads the world by GOOD example.
I do believe in a United States that bequeaths to the world
A vision of democracy and freedom.
I do believe in a United States in which
Each and every one is hero and patriot -
Laborer, CEO, people of all colors, straight
Lesbian, gay, transsexual, Protestant, Catholic,
Jew, Muslim, man, woman, and child –
I do believe in a United States in which
All American heroes have the right to peaceful dissent.
Dissent is one of the freedoms we believe in!
Do not call any of us anti-American.
Do not tell any of us that we are not patriots.

I was born on September 11, 1944.
My life always circled around “Nine Eleven.”
By birthright I am Nine Eleven,
And I am freedom.
Like Walt Whitman I am part of you
And all of you are a part of me.
And we are all American patriots.
I do believe each of us owes his due on our profligacy.
I don’t believe in a United States in which any American
Must be told he doesn’t have a job
While another is not paying his due.
I do believe that Nine Eleven demonstrates
That every American is willing to do his share.
I was born on September 11, 1944, and
I do believe in a United States in which
We are all 21st century American patriots!

Remember Them the Way They Used To Be.
Be a hero, and picture them the way they will be.
Be an American patriot and invent the way we should be.

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