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From Rabbi Sussman on 9.11~


Twenty years ago
On the morning of 9.11
I was watching TV.
It was a beautiful morning
Blue sky
Crisp air
Until the news flashed a weird story
About a plane hitting the North
Tower of the World Trade Center
without explanation

A terrible mistake I thought
A statistical aeronautical aberration
Until a second plane smashed the
fragile facade of what was
becoming our day of infamy.

Then a third report of the Pentagon
under attack.
But by then we were all under
When a fourth plane heading to
Washington DC crashed into
Central Pennsylvania
with reports of heroic
passengers overwhelming the
Just as fireman and emergency workers rushed into danger in New York and Northern Virginia
Like the defenders of Ft McHenry
Who would not lower our flag
And continue to raise our spirits
Every time we sing our tributes to
Above the rolling white clouds of
Dust, ash and destruction
Burying 2996 precious souls in its
billowing, monsterous path.

Twenty years is not a long time
When it comes to 9.11
Which changed us and wounded
us, angered us and confused us

Twenty years is not a long time
if your father or mother or friend
Perished at the hands of
deranged terrorists seeking to
Knock out America in a one
Round fight.

Twenty years later lower New York
City is rebuilt
The Pentagon is a fortress
And green grass grows in
Stonycreek Township, PA.

But in our minds’ eye
I still see the Towrers falling
And we are still reeling
From our loss of innocence
And the painful realization
that 20 years is not enough
to comprehend the totality of 9.11
and what it stole from us.

Monuments are not enough either,
Only markers in time and space,
Reminders that we are still rebuilding our nation and ourselves
With our lives
With our love
With our hope
That we owe our children
A better world than what was bequeathed to us.

Rabbi Lance J Sussman, Ph.D.