Upon this anniversary of the day America was changed forever, I reflect on the blessings that have come out of that terrible day. Below is my record of what happened that day and how it changed my life.
THANK YOU AMERICA
I wrote “A September Psalm” and “Embrace Today” as I reflected on the events that transpired on 9/11/2001. These pieces are special to me because you inspired the words that are embodied in them. This is a blessing because it was my first successful attempt at writing poetry. Even though I often tried, I could not create anything that I felt confident enough to share with others. Yet you coaxed it out of me by your caring actions and revealed a part of me that I did not know existed; for which I am grateful. Thank you so much for the precious gift that you unwittingly provided me. I hope you will be blessed as much as you have blessed me.
This was shown in the flags you raised and the songs you sang, in the candles you lit, and the prayers you said.
With heads held high and caring arms spread, you hugged each other as tears were shed.
You were a ray of sunshine in the middle of turmoil, and an inspiration when this country was thrust into chaos.
No one did this alone; we did it together! Together we bridged the chasm of grief and despair, and together we face the future.
Although outraged for what happened that day, we must be united in order to stay strong.
Do you remember how united we were in the months following 9/11? I do, and I wish we could be more like that again. We need to put aside our differences and focus on the things that we have in common.
Allowing differences to divide us is one of the biggest threats in America today. Those who want to harm us will capitalize on that weakness. The good news is, however, that we can change the situation when we commit to treating each other the way we would want to be treated.
Change occurs in our hearts and minds when we pay closer attention to political agendas, not only in Washington D.C., but also in our cities, states, schools, churches and even in our homes! Recognizing motives behind what people say and what they want from us prevents them from manipulating and using us. In other words, ask yourself if they have an agenda, what they expect to gain, and if it is dividing us or pitting us against each other? If their rhetoric is divisive, then we have to wonder why they want to divide us.
A SEPTEMBER PSALM
(In Memory of 9/11/2001)
With a grateful heart for all thou hast done,
Lord, we do solemnly pray:
Let every soul bask in thy wondrous love
Who lost someone today.
A city that’s torn (in the name of Allah)
Is rescued through compassion.
With shovels, buckets, sweat, and blood
Sweet charity’s imparted.
The remedy that soothes an aching soul is
Bequeathed to those in service.
Giving solace to numerous helping hands,
Some stirred are broken hearted.
We honor our slain with a heavy heart
And struggle with forgiving,
Yet we go on to face the renewal of day,
Our faith in God entrusting.
We hoist up the flag and sing an anthem
In utmost sincerity,
To show this nation’s determination
In rare solidarity!
We search out terrorists in distant lands,
To quash evil’s cruel intention.
To achieve this, Lord, we need thy blessing
And solicit thy protection.
© Judith Sherman
Embrace each precious moment with
our loved ones.
Embrace all that is good and use it
to help others.
Embrace virtues of goodness, honesty,
integrity, and generosity.
Embrace faith in God with boldness,
and trust in Him completely.
Embrace civility and decency, and let
not anguish turn to hate.
Embrace peace today by allowing the
past to stay in the past,
Recalling yesterday only when trying
to be a better person today.
Embrace every opportunity for the light
within to shine more brightly.
Embrace all new adversity and face it
with confidence and courage.
Remember, the soothing salve that heals
an aching soul is service.
It fills up the empty places in the heart
and lifts the saddened spirit.
Gratitude for those who serve us is important, especially now when we are so divided as a nation.
Let me thank all the men and women who serve in so many different capacities. I especially thank those who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect and keep us safe: whether they be the military, the police or fire departments, the emergency workers or their counterparts, the churches, and all the other groups that step in when a need arises.
I realize that what you do often goes unnoticed and, perhaps, seems unappreciated. I for one appreciate you. Thank you so much for your sacrifices and for what you do to protect and serve us.