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BEYOND TEARS
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by Brenda Looney

I cannot cry and wonder why. The entire nation is in deep mourning and I feel so numb ... beyond tears.

It all started like any other day. The sun was shining brightly as I sat down at my computer to check my e-mail while sipping my morning coffee. Outside my window I viewed a beautiful red cardinal chirping a sweet song up in the tree. I stopped and looked over at him and felt happy to witness such a marvelous scene. I thought to myself briefly that today would be a great day to go out into my garden and begin some fall clean up. The small television in my computer room was tuned into one of the morning news shows. I heard the excited news commentator say that a plane had just struck the World Trade Center in New York. I spun around in my chair to watch in horror......and I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

It was like watching a movie and didn't seem real. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen and as if this plane crash wasn't enough......about twenty minutes later another plane crashed into the second tower of the World Trade Center. What was happening? The smoke, debris, shattered glass and the collapse of both buildings was so surreal. I felt numb yet mesmerized and could not turn away from the television set.

The media of television and radio continued to broadcast what had turned out to be a terrorist attack against the United States of America. For the first time in MY life this country had been attacked on our own soil. I never thought it could happen here ... not in America. The horrors of war and the carnage that follows has always been something that happens in foreign lands. America was always protected from such attacks. I along with the rest of the country felt safe and lived without fear.

I turned to my husband and asked him what the date was. He replied, "It's September the 11th." A shiver came over me as I realized it was the anniversary of my father's death. It had been 38 years since he left me. I wanted to cry out to him and feel his comforting arms around me telling me that everything was going to be all right. I felt if he were looking down from Heaven he would surely be mourning for what had happened to our great country.

My attention turned back to the television. Heartbreaking story after story was unfolding. Many have lost their lives ... over 6,000 at the time of this writing. I listened to the stories of how some of the victims on the hijacked planes called their loved ones on their cell phones ... to tell them "I love you" and to say "good-bye" so bravely. In a perfect and unprecedented display of democracy, the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 voted and agreed to overthrow their hijackers after learning the other two hijacked planes had crashed into the World Trade Center buildings. Their plane did crash, but not on the area targeted by the hijackers thus saving many lives. These men and women should be hailed as heroes in the highest degree! I watched the firefighters and other rescuers covered in ash work furiously moving the rubble in attempt to recover thousands buried under the massive amounts of concrete. Few were found alive and mostly "pieces" of bodies were recovered. The rescue dogs faithfully worked beside their masters helping with the search ... even with cut pads on their feet from climbing across the sharp shards of rubble. Human and canine companion searchers are heroes for continuing the search with steeled determination. Many selfless firemen and rescue workers entered these burning buildings and died trying to save others. There are countless people whose lives have been touched and are mourning for their lost loved ones. Sadly, most will not even have the closure of having a body to bury.

Americans from all over the country have joined together to do whatever they can to help in any and every way. Thousands have lined up to give blood and there are many donations flooding into the Red Cross. There have been prayer vigils and memorial services in virtually all cities across this great nation and around the globe. Millions of candles have been lit in America and throughout the world in memory of those who have died.

I hung my flag outside and then looked down the street at all the other homes displaying their American flags and the vision formed a lump in my throat. Perhaps it took this horrible attack to remind me and make me appreciate all the more that I'm an American ... something I feel I've taken for granted for too long. Flags are waving in store fronts, on car antennas and people are wearing patriotic pins. This nation is in mourning but our resolve and solidarity is strong and ever present.

There were many lives touched and affected by this horrific attack on the United States. The evil terrorists think ... believe ... that they have hurt us. We do feel the pain and loss but are not destroyed as they had hoped. On the contrary, Americans are more united than ever and determined to rebuild. America is also committed to make the terrorists pay dearly for this attack on the United States. We shall hunt them down and destroy them. They will not go unpunished. Our enemies have absolutely no idea how strong and united we are now.

I watched President Bush speak to the nation on television. I saw all our representatives stand to applaud again and again. For once there was no bickering or division. Democrats and Republicans stood in strong unity with one another. All are determined to protect America at any cost. We have a new resolve and mission to find and punish those responsible for this most unforgivable act of terrorism on our soil.

Our troops have been deployed and the search is on to find the terrorists. The task at hand is great as they have infiltrated many countries. The mission will be a long one and many more Americans will lose their lives before it is over. I am proud and thankful to the men and women of our military. God bless them all and keep them safe.

Is this the end of the world as I know it? Are we destined to live in constant fear of further terrorist attacks? Can't we just go back....back to before this all happened? I want my life to be as it was. I don't want to think about war and all the ugliness and death and hurt that it will bring. Why...why did this have to happen?

Driving home today as I stopped for a light at an intersection, there was a fireman in the middle of the street carrying a fireman's boot collecting money for the World Trade Center relief fund. I scooped some money from my purse and dropped it into his boot. The light changed and I screamed out, "I want this to stop and be over!" I was surprised by my outburst, but found myself finally angry and frustrated. The dam I'd built up inside myself since this nightmare first began finally opened. I am now feeling the hurt for all this great country has lost and for all those who are suffering. I also fear for the future of America and how life will change ... yet the tears still do not fall. The hell that has dropped on America is much too terrible and far beyond tears.

Gone is the age of innocence. America has been wounded. There will be tighter security to protect us and along with that the loss of some of our personal freedom and privacy. I fear the "best of times" are behind us and I grieve for the world our children will face from now on. I hope I am wrong. I pray that the Eagle will rise out of the ashes and soar stronger than ever, spreading its wings of protection over America.

Our Statue of Liberty still stands proudly and strong as ever over the emptiness of the skyline where the twin buildings of the World Trade Center once were. Her torch is held high as a beacon to the rest of the world. We will not forget the date, September 11, 2001. Each of us will forever remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the unthinkable news. Our lives are forever changed. We have renewed our patriotism and are united to fight against our enemies who seek to destroy us.

May God Bless America!

statue of liberty

"Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done." President George W. Bush

"God Bless The USA - I'm Proud To Be an American!"

If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life, And I had to start again with just my children and my wife, I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today, 'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.

I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me, And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God Bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee, Across the plains of Texas from sea to shining sea. From Detroit down to Houston and New York to L.A., There's pride in every American heart and it's time we stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me, And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God Bless the U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the
burning building,
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope,
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their
way into the inferno,
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.

We are
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people
We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

~~~~~~

In the Lord I put my trust;

How can you say to my soul,

"Flee as a bird to your mountain"?

For look! The wicked bend their bow,

They make ready their arrow on the string,

That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.

If the foundations are destroyed,

What can the righteous do?

The Lord is in His holy temple,

The Lord’s throne is in heaven;

His eyes behold,

His eyelids test the sons of men.

The Lord tests the righteous,

But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.

Upon the wicked He will rain coals;

Fire and brimstone and a burning wind

Shall be the portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous,

He loves righteousness;

His countenance beholds the upright.

Psalm 11

                              

Memories of an Abundant Life  * Family Ties  *  Flowers & Friends
Grandpas' Picture   *  In Rememberance   *  Letter to My Father
The Time of My Life   *  My Father   *   To My Husband
Sweetheart Overseas   *  My Dove   *   My Favorite Places
My Garden in Bloom   *  My Animal Children   *  No More
New Pages !!!

Christmas Gift  * Pumpkin  * Empty Nest  * Beyond Tears  * The Red Rose  * Annie's Story of Great Depression  *
Garden Pictures  * Coming Into Manhood  * I Love How You Love Me  *
Time To Give Thanks  * Autumn Memories  *  Sunset  *My First Mothers' Day  *
The Gift   *  Neighbors  *   Seasons of Life


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