As if it were yesterday . . .



Can it really be 12 years already? A dozen years since the morning that changed America, and the world?

Perhaps in other parts of this nation 9/11 no longer feels like only yesterday, but to those of us living within literal sight of lower Manhattan, and the place where the Twin Towers once stood, the memories are as clear and as sharp and as painful as ever.

I, for one, still cannot look up at a plane soaring through a bright blue sky without being jolted from the present to the past.

“September 11th blue,” I heard someone call it on a CNN documentary the other night.

Those of us who were here that day know exactly what that means. We can see that blue. Just as we can see the gray of the cloud that swept down the streets and then rose to the heavens and blotted away the blue – along with our sense of security.

In the days after 9/11, something else rose to the heavens: Prayers. Prayers for the lost, for the survivors, for the first responders, for our country. People found renewed strength in faith, and in the hope that faith inspires.

We also found a renewed sense of patriotism. And of courage.

There is a poem by British writer Laurence Binyon that dates from World War I and that is most often recited on November 11. It is engraved on plaques and tombs and memorials.

I believe it is equally suitable for September 11. And it should be engraved in Americans’ hearts as a tribute to all those lost at Ground Zero, at the Pentagon and in a field in Shanksville, Pa.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

– Karen Zautyk


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