Like Yesterday

Ten years down time’s winding road, and I still cringe when I see a jet airplane go anywhere near a tall building. I suppose I always will.

I was in law school when the Towers went down. I sat in the basement with my fellow students and watched them fall. For the next few days, I moved in a nightmare state, numb and aching at the same time. Now, three thousand six hundred and fifty days later, I still don’t understand.

On the Thursday after that fated Tuesday, my law school gathered on its front lawn and I stood before them to read a poem. I’d penned it late forty hours earlier, in the middle of what seemed like an endlessly long and dark night.

I haven’t laid eyes upon it in nearly ten years. But it’s time. In memory of everything this country saw, heard and felt on that day a decade ago, here is “Half Mast.”

Half Mast

Our flag flew at half-mast
The day the Worlds came crashing down
The sky, its eagles grounded,
Lapsed to haunting, silent sound.

Where once there stood a skyline
Known all the world around,
A funeral pyre of freedom
Rose from newly hallowed ground.

My stars and stripes and courage
Are stronger with my pain
My memory, in honor
of their lives,
-forever stained.

My heart beats at half-mast, today
My tears, like Towers, fall.
My soul is tired, my spirit raw,
My ache wrapped up in calm.

But where strength is called to question,
I know that hardship gives it birth
And I hold this truth to be self evident:
That we will
forever stay
The Greatest Nation
on this earth.

– By Heather Killough-Walden
Dedicated to the American men and women
who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

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