Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It's hard to believe that it has been six years,
so vivid the images
that had my eyes transfixed to the television
that terrible morn.
It was one of those moments, so indelibly
imprinted in my mind, I'll not forget where
I was or what I was doing when it happened. Were we at war? Was it safe to go to work? My daughter, was she safe?
The planes flying into the WTC towers ... the towers collapsing ... innocent people dying ...
It occurred to me that it is only those tragic moments that evoke the memories of where I was or what I was doing. There were the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King!
I remember the first lunar landing and Apollo 13, but I cannot recall exactly where I was or what I might have been doing during those moments. I realize that they were moments of triumph and not of tragedy. That's the rub. Therein lies the difference!
Those indelible memories share one common thread - the murder of innocent lives!
I found the following poem by Charles M. Province, and thought it was fitting as a tribute to this solemn date.
It's the Soldier
A protest raged on a courthouse lawn,
Round a makeshift stage they charged on,
Fifteen hundred or more they say,
Had come to burn a Flag that day.
A boy held up the folded Flag,
Cursed it, and called it a rag.
An old man pushed through the angry crowd,
With a rusty shotgun shouldered proud.
His uniform jacket was old and tight,
He had polished each button, shiny and bright.
He crossed that stage with a soldier's grace
Until he and the boy stood face to face.
"Freedom of speech," the old man said,
"Is worth dying for, good men are dead,
So you can stand on this courtyard lawn.
But before any Flag gets burned today,
This old man is going to have his say!
My father died on a foreign shore,
In a war they said would end all war.
But Tommy and I wasn't even full grown
Before we fought in a war of our own.
And Tommy died on Iwo Jima's beach
In the shadow of a hill he couldn't quite reach,
Where five good men raised his Flag so high
That the whole world could see it fly.
I got this bum leg that I still drag
Fighting for this same old Flag.
No there's but one shot in this old gun,
So now it's time to decide which one,
Which one of you will follow our lead,
To stand and die fow what you believe?
For sure as there is a rising sun,
You'll burn before this Flag burns, son."
Now this riot never come to pass.
The crowd got quiet and that can of gas
Got set aside as they walked away
To talk about what they had heard this day.
And the boy who had called it a dirty rag,
Haded the soldier the folded Flag.
So the battle of the Flag this day was won
By a tired old soldier with a rusty gun,
Who for one last time, had to show to some,
This Flag may fade, yet these colors don't run.
Curmudgeon responsible for this post: Hale McKay at 9:02 PM