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.”
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,
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
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.