Remembering September 11

Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the September 11 attacks and their families, and especially with Stanley L. Temple. I wrote about Mr. Temple as part of last year's Project 2,996 blog initiative. There was simply no information to be found about him, and it was heartbreaking. A comment appeared a couple of days after I posted my tribute that told me Mr. Temple had worked shining shoes for the employees of Cantor Fitzgerald, and that he has a sister in New York City. And today I found this comment on a 9/11 tribute site:

I came across this page in remembrance of the 9/11 tragedy, and saw that no family members had left no response. I'm really hurt to see that that has happen because I know you have family in New York and Virginia. I tried many times but to no avail to find out what happen to you. Even today I cant get the respond needed. I only hope your loves did the right thing. For now I truly know that you are at peace with your loveing wife Margret for I personally will truely miss and be hurt at the phone conversation we had about not visiting you more often when she passed.

In loving remembrance
Your Godson

Harry, I'm proud to remember Stanley L. Temple today. I pray his sister, you and the rest of his family have found solace through the ordeal of his loss. And thank you for letting us know that Stanley is at peace with is wife.

Spend some time today learning about the lives we lost on September 11, 2001. The Project 2996 website has links to the 2006 tributes, as well as ways for you to honor the fallen on your blogs and in your communities. Take a moment and remember. When I do, I always come back to this poem by poet laureate Billy Collins, words that never fail to touch my heart.
The Names

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.
A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,
I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,
Then Baxter and Calabro,
Davis and Eberling, names falling into place
As droplets fell through the dark.
Names printed on the ceiling of the night.
Names slipping around a watery bend.
Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.
In the morning, I walked out barefoot
Among thousands of flowers
Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
And each had a name --
Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.
Names written in the air
And stitched into the cloth of the day.
A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
Monogram on a torn shirt,
I see you spelled out on storefront windows
And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.
I say the syllables as I turn a corner --
Kelly and Lee,
Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.
When I peer into the woods,
I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
As in a puzzle concocted for children.
Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,
Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.
Names written in the pale sky.
Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.
Names silent in stone
Or cried out behind a door.
Names blown over the earth and out to sea.
In the evening -- weakening light, the last swallows.
A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,
And the names are outlined on the rose clouds --
Vanacore and Wallace,
(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)
Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
Names etched on the head of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.


Sister Carrie said…
Thank you. This poem made me cry. Six years later, and I'm still crying about it.
suz said…
made me cry too. not only for 9/11, or the quality of billy collins work (amazing) but that once again a blog post somewhat unrelated to adoption touches my adoption trauma core.

billy collins is my daughters favorite poet.

amazing one of my favorite adoptive mom bloggers cites my daughters favorite poet on 9/11.

hugs to you margie.
Reid said…
tears well spent today--thanks for posting this. It just seems like such an important thing to do.

Violeta said…
Thanks, Margie. I hadn't read this one and I think it's amazing. The last line has me in tears, in particular.

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