Thursday, 11 September 2008


I think that I will never forget where I was on this day, 7 years ago.

I had just woken up. Sacha, my granddaughter was sitting on the couch watching cartoons on TV and my daughter was in the kitchen cooking eggs.

I grabbed a cup of coffee, switched on my computer and logged on to the NZ newsgroup that I read.

The first thing that caught my eye was a thread about a plane crashing into the WTC. Thinking it was probably a small plane, I switched the TV to the 'Today' show (much to the annoyance of Sacha) and life changed. The second plane had just flown into the WTC and reports were coming in about the Pentagon being on fire. A little later we heard that another plane was missing, believed hijacked.

I screamed for my daughter. She stuck her head round the corner of the kitchen, then slowly walked into the room and sank down beside me on the couch. About half an hour later I remember looking at her and noticing that she was still holding the spatula that she's been using to cook the eggs.

Those cowardly acts, by those terrorists, changed life as we know it forever. I, personally, am working hard at trying not to let those changes affect me, because by doing that, I think we allow the terrorists to achieve one of their main goals and that is to paralyse us with fear. They are not going to do that to me!

This is one of my favourite poems. It was written by Laurence Binyon in 1914 and the fourth verse, is read out at ANZAC and other services that are memorials to the war dead in NZ, Australia, England, etc.

It specifically mentions England, but I think it is also applicable to 9/11 and the people that died that day as well as those that have died in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, fighting to protect us, Swap 'England' for 'America' or any of the other countries that have sent their sons and daughters into battle.

The truth is that 'At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.'

This is for them, on this day ...

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

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.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon



Very nice tribute.

Anonymous said...

Very eloquent, Karen.

Kat said...

I was in such a quandry about what to post today. I thought about some sort of tribute. I have a good friend that is a news photographer - and I have all his pictures from that morning. And they are surreal.

So, I decided eventually to go in another direction. With my lists :-) And, in a manner, Remembering Sept. 11 is in many ways about reflecting on such lists. Thinking about who we are, who we want to be and what we want to do. It's the best way to honor those who did not survive the attacks that day. That, and going about doing those things on our dreams lists.

Jennifer said...

That is a perfect poem for a tribute! I remember that day like it was yesterday--what I was wearing, everything! I know I will never forget any details of it.

Lula! said...

Oh, wow Karen...that poem was simply beautiful. Thanks for posting!

Anne said...

A beautiful tribute. I know we watched with horror and disbelieve from this end of the world. Will never forget.

Ann said...

This was beautiful.
Thank you for posting this.

Stephanie said...

Lovely. Such a beautiful tribute.

Tiffany said...

Wow. Perfect.

Rhea said...

I know, we'll never forget. I didn't post about it, but it's in my thoughts this week.