My Memories of September Eleven. Today Sadly Will Forever Be Known As 911

My Memories of September Eleven. Today Sadly Will Forever Be Known As 911

 Perhaps we’re all asking ourselves today “What can we do to help our beloved country move forward? How can we help those whom today still mourn the loss of their love ones in the face of such terrible tragedy?”

The hallmark of America is our ability to continue to press on in times of adversity and tragedy, with faith and the resolve that out of our challenges will soon come our triumphs. That our finest triumphs is that of the triumph of the American spirit that propels us individually to step forward with prayers, compassion and assistance, and the courage to volunteer in times of need. A great part of our history is a living testament to this.

So in the memory of September 11th 2001, National Day of Tragedy and Prayers, with this, although simple little piece, Poetic Dance Across the World, is my literary contribution to honor the memory of all the men, women and perhaps children whom has fallen during such terrible tragedy.

That Tuesday, September, 11, 2011, was supposed to be a quiet day. I was supposed to head to NYC, but the meeting with one of the prospective producers set for that day had been cancelled the Friday before, so I opted instead rescind the requested day off for a possible future date and head off to go to work. I was a second-shifter, whom often slept late, since I accustomed to stay up late at night once I get home from work. That morning my brother Morris had called me and woken out of a deep sleep. I could hear in his voice that he was terrified. Not knowing what was happening, all I could hear on the other end of the line, was, “hurry up, turn on your TV, we’re under attack! The country is under attack!!” Of course, my brother, being the younger brother, often tended to be a bit more melodramatic. Although id never before known him to be this scared. As I rolled over, searched for the remote control and turned on my television set, which was mostly always sat to CNN, as the TV came on, the second plane slammed right into tower 2. This shocked the core out of me and I jumped right up… scared confused, in wonders.

I don’t exactly remember how we ended our conversation. I remember sitting at my dining room table, living room television set was in the background, nonstop commentaries and speculations cup of coffee in hand, and calling into the office to speak with Patricia, my supervisor. Asking if “everyone were okay? If they wanted me to come in early and help out?” of course, shed apparently forgotten that id rescinded my day off. Although everyone in the office appeared in good standings. Earlier February of that same year, we’d recently loss our mother to cancer, we were all still grieving. I was exhausted from trying to act as the family therapist, counselor and adviser in chief.  I now had to track down and call each and every one of six brothers and sisters and check in with them to see if they were doing okay… and of course, call my kids. This was going to be a rather long day.

On my way to our office in down town Meriden, Connecticut, I first noted somber and desolate streets. Usually this being a very busy, bustling time of the day specially during a school week-day. Since on my drive from my apartment in Middletown, Connecticut, around 2:30 PM. I usually took the back roads, passing by three schools, screaming, happy children in laughter, grounded me and tended to somehow help to prepare my mind to deal with our mentally ill population and my creativity throughout the day, but that day was different.

The drive appeared as if the entire nation was in a solemn mourn and a state of shock. Of course I worked as a case manager in a state run outpatient psychiatric program. My shift ran from 4: 00. PM. to 12:00 AM. As I arrived, I met my colleague, Peggy in the parking lot, we greeted each other and somehow new that it wasn’t going to be like any other day… our years of experience simply indicated it wasn’t going to be an easy shift.

As we stepped in to the office, we received first shift’s quick report, as they immediately belted out of the door; understandably so, since they’d been there all morning and needed to go check up on their families. Our client consumers, began to approach the office for their 4:00 PM. meds and vital signs. Normally they took their medications and went about their business, though not this day… no, not that day, they gathered around, each and every one, as they arrive. My colleague and I look at each other and realized that we needed to have an emergency meeting to help them debrief and listen to their concerns. Our office was on the bottom level of perhaps an 8 to 10 story building in Meriden, and many of our clients were older adults, diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, living on the upper floors. Their fears and concerns were taken seriously… they were allowed to share their feelings. One of these gentlemen, clearly believed that we, the United States was under attack and that they’d be airplanes flying through all tall buildings. Others threatened to jump out before they burned to death. It was then that I realized we had very little time to be solely therapeutic, but that we needed vivid creativity, and reflection in prayer reinforcement. We weren’t sure what was going on in the world… one thing we did know, is that we didn’t want them too medicated in case we needed to run. So I asked them that they concentrate on writing out their feelings and that meanwhile they did such, I would try and pray. It was voted on, and became an overall consensus to pray.

Following prayers, they appear calmer. I asked them to write out their thoughts and feelings, as we would also write along with them, and they did. It worked just as if we’d medicated them with some kind of spiritual serum.

Although I had never before ever written nor say a prayer nor talk with God aloud in front of anyone, prior to that day on September 11, 2001. Together with their scheduled prescribed medications. My faith that lead me toward such approach appeared to have worked.

The following are some of the poems and prayers that inspired me to remain calm and therapeutic, thus provide the strength, wisdom and the ability to keep our psychiatrically disable clients, calm and in control without having to give extra medications or PRNs.       

Prayer #1

Dear Heavenly Father, Mother, God and Creator of us all!
We are deeply saddened and horrified at the shocking attack against our nation.
Our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers go out to everyone affected by this
national, though rather global tragedy.

Almighty Lord, we are moved by the alarming news and crisis which our country now faces.
To this, the greatest nation, founded upon the belief that “In God We Trust,” “Land of the Free.” We beg that you show mercy upon those now suffering, hurting and in fear,
Hence that you give wisdom and strength to those who are helping, and assisting. 

May the forces of evil be broken by your power and may we humble at thine feet.
May we place our strength and seek refuge upon our solid rock standing.
from which we invoke to You on high that each passing day the numbers of those
now missing be diminished, hence that many more be rescued and found alive.

Almighty God we ask that you give wisdom to our leaders
Thus to all whom are in leadership throughout the ranks to help bring comfort and strength.
To help bring us comforting peace, through the power of your Holy Spirit.
Perhaps we’re all asking ourselves today “what can we do to help our country and those whom now mourn the loss of their love ones in the face of this terrible tragedy?”

Since the hallmark of America is our ability to continue to press on in times of adversity and tragedy with faith and the resolve that out of our challenges do come our triumphs. And our finest triumph is the triumph of the American spirit that leads us individually to step forward with prayers, compassion and assistance, and the courage to volunteer in times of need. Our history is a living testament to this. Help us here Dear Lord, reach out to those that have been affected by this tragedy. May God bless our America, may God blessed us all, may God sustain and fortify our spirit. Amen.


To my sad memories of 9/11/2001 that changed my writing style and lead me on to a search for something greater than myself within my writings..

So as the days remains saddened, long and darkened, I had no vacation time, nor personal days  left, since I’d just had my three kids up throughout the entire summer and had used every free minute to dedicate to them. Additionally, months earlier, in February, we had also loss mother to pancreatic cancer. Mother lived in Miami, were I’d been travelling steadily to visit until her saddened passing.  I continued to write more prayers at night, as I got home from work, instead of poems, lyrics and songs; it actually felt real good. Suddenly I’d realized something inside of me was changing. Of course I lived alone at the time in a huge three bedroom, spread out over three levels, with 2000 + sq., living space, condominium. Every floor was covered in papers. Suddenly a national day of prayer was announced. I was totally inspired and became immersed. Took myself back to the seminary library and penned these other pieces.

Years later, as I was requested to read a poem during a prayer vigil held for the Pulse Night Club, Orlando massacre, at First Church, Hartford, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut. I reflected upon the gruesomeness of such hate-filled crimes to realize that over 50 people had been killed and 60 injured, most of them under 30, many perhaps at barely a legal drinking age!

Almost immediately I agreed, and opened to glance over and search throughout the pages of my book, Tears of Joy Peace and Harmony While the Fire Burns Within to choose the following poem: Such which are found within the pages of my new book, Poetic Dance Across the World

Prayer #2

Almighty God
We pray that you show us love, patience and peace
For love is stronger than hate
Thus love last longer than justice

Loving God, we ask that you bring us together
as we sing our songs of love
and that you may keep us together
as we light our candles of hope
by thine will, which will guide our darkness
hence to illuminate our pathway through faith

Today in sorrows we lament as we weep for our children
for they’re no longer here with us
We pray to the God of Buddha, Abraham,
Isaac, Samuel, Mohammed, Christ our Savior
God, Father, Mother and creator of us all

Almighty God we pray that you restrain our hearts and minds
from random prejudice
and that you grant us wisdom and faith
as we embark on our path to justice

We beg that to our hearts you grant thy peace
that you let us not lose heart
as we implore on bended knees and folded hands
that you may guide us all by wisdom and faith
thus not by sight vengeance and hate

Many more of these poems, prayers, songs, lyrics and reflections are found within the pages of my new book, Poetic Dance Across The World.

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