A year after the four planes became weapons and thousands perished in a few hours, the country was still reeling with the horror of what took place on Tuesday morning, September 11.

Every year we relive it. Pictures and videos remind us of what we can never forget– even if the images were destroyed. Every shot is seared into our collective memory like brands on a heard of calves.


Open wounds.


The entire world changed that day.

New airport security measures affect every passenger before every flight every day. Thousands of families have an empty chair at dinner time every night. Every look across the harbor and every photo of New York’s skyline makes us wistful, as if looking and remembering could undo it all.

But we can never go back.

I hope nothing like this ever happens again. To any people. In any country.

Yet, I do long for a piece of that day to return: for the time when differences were forgotten, when everyone hugged loved ones close and recounted true blessings– not material possessions or unimportant goals and dreams; for a collective pause long enough for us to remember the things that unite us– not the unimportant issues that divide; for kindness, thoughtfulness, and going-the-extra-mile freely given to strangers; for love to triumph over hate.

The lyrics below flowed out of my resolve to remember those whose lives evaporated that day and my determination to continuously be vigilant against evil.

My heart cannot be held hostage by hate.

My heart belongs to Love.



I remember the day
I remember the pain
.   of the wind ripping open my heart

The icy blast of hate
Froze the tears upon my face
.   and put a stone in the place that held my heart

Hopeful futures full of dreams
Cut short by dying screams
.   searing images and cries into my heart

Unsuspecting, vulnerable,
Violated by evil,
.   angry, wondering how hell could clutch my heart

Remember, remember
Horror that I never can forget
Remember, remember
Faces that I’ll never forget

While the mockers rejoiced
I made the conscious choice
.   to displace the hatred growing in my heart

I still remember the pain
And the terror of that day
.   but I won’t let it claim my heart

Remember, remember
Horror that I never can forget
Remember, remember
Faces that I’ll never forget
Remember. . .

(c) 2002 Catherine Howie



~ by cathyhowie on September 11, 2015.

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