Voices of Our Children: Message of Hope and Healing

Voices of our Children: Messages of Hope and Healing. In a time of national tragedy, this is what we need. We need to hear that there is pain, sadness, anger, and anxiety, but we also need to hear that there is hope. We need to realize that through unity, America will heal from this gaping wound. The poetry, short stories, and songs that are contained within this CD reflect the inner most thoughts and feelings of children regarding the September 11th tragedy. We share these with you as an expression of the pain and grief that children are experiencing. However, we recognize the strength and resiliency that our children possess. They give us hope for the future, for in fact, that is where the future of America resides.

It is our desire that this material will bring about discussion by other children regarding their sentiments of September 11th.  One of the most valuable steps in healing from tragedies is to be able to talk about our thoughts, feelings, and recollections.  And so, Suffolk County Psychological Association is proud to present to you:

Voices of Our Children: Messages of Hope and Healing

John Kelly, Ph.D.

The following is an unique compilation of poetry, short stories and original songs by students in response to the tradgedy of September 11th.  Click the titles to display.


The Gypsum Wind - Words and Music by Jim Del

Jim Del – Lead Vocals and Percussion
Pete Scarlata – Drums and Back-up Vocals
Greg Comparetto – Acoustic Guitar
Bryan Russo – Bass
Bill Sperl – Keyboards

We breathe in the gypsum wind
Our hands are tired, faces grim
I feel lost in the gypsum wind
The water’s cold but we have to swim

We see all the gypsum wind
The skies are dark, our hearts heavy
In disbelief I can’t begin
The world has changed in the gypsum wind

Inside I’m fighting, trying to realize
Outside I’m crying, dying when I see the sky

Legions of cars on hold
They’re frightened, cold
No one to drive them home
There’s a bicycle tied to a pole
She’s all alone
No one to ride her home

I taste the grit in the gypsum wind
While choirs cry, blind-color is our skin
My throat burns in the gypsum wind
We search for hope as the sands fall through the glass...

We heal from the gypsum wind
Dry our eyes, buff our iron chin
We breathe our star-spangled hymn
Heed our sighs we will rebuild

Each night I’m crying, trying to see the light
Each day I’m climbing, free-eagle flying – never denying the freedom fight

We feed on the gypsum wind
We feed on the gypsum wind

We Love America by Alice Ge (Age 8)

America is a Peaceful land.
America is a lovely land.
Waving in the air, is the American flag.
America is a freedom land.
We are proud of America.
Telling the whole world, America is stronger forever.
We hold hand by hand.
We hold heart by heart.
We unite together.
We love America.
God bless America!

"God Bless America" Song of Healing for 9/11/01 Victims by Christine Anthony (Age 15)

In this walk we face many battles
But they’re not yours, they belong to the Lord.
On this day we shed our tears,
You don’t have to hide your fears.
Now we remember this like yesterday
But hold on, joy comes in the morning time
Dry your eye, don’t you cry,
Everything is gonna be alright.
The Lord will heal the hole in your heart,
We wish we had peace from the start.
Keep your head up high,
Reach for the sky.
Your heart will heal
Then joy you will feel.
You will find peace
Throughout the years

United we stand,
Hand in hand.
Stay strong and true,
Through and through.

America by Briana Kur and Brittany Mignanelli (Ages 10)

Nationalism brought us together.
For all the hardships we have faced, we will never separate!
And all the times we have shared
With the ones we loved.
We will never fill the space, in our

America! America! United we stand,
In the American lands.
Our country stands strong, and we
Will carry onnnnnn!!!!

We will try our hardest to repay
Those heroes, who have saved lives
Almost lost.
Oh oh Ohhhhhhhh!!!!
We stand hand in hand, in a circle of
Life and love.

America! America! United we stand,
In the American lands.
Our country stands strong, and we
Will carry onnnnnn!!!!

America! America! United we stand,
In the American lands.
Our country stands strong, and we
Will carry onnnnnn!!!!

All Because of You - Words by Melody and Cathy Sperl/Music by Bill Sperl

I said the pledge every day
And never gave the words any time
Now I salute and think of you
And your loved ones left behind

America the beautiful
Now brings my eyes to tears
Erasing all my anger
Getting rid of all my fears

We stand together because of you
We helped each other because of you
We will remember because of you
We are one nation again

The faces of the lost
Were in the papers every day
Smiling, kissing, holding hands
Precious in every way

America the beautiful
Now brings my eyes to tears
Erasing all my anger
Getting rid of all my fears

We stand together because of you
We helped each other because of you
We will remember because of you
We are one nation again

Short Stories:

“A Time to Mourn” by Joseph Robinson (Age 16)

An eagle soared in the sky.

A haze of smoke covered the city. Like a cloud of evil omens, it emanated gloom and despair. Joe DiGiorio had awakened early that morning, anticipating a busy day at his office in downtown Manhattan. As he pulled out of the driveway in his Nissan 2000, his newly wed wife came rushing out of the house to give him one final embrace. As they parted, she whispered, “I love you.”

Those simple words, containing such depth and sincerity would be sorely needed in the hours, which lay ahead. Finding himself strangely emotional, Joe pulled off with a last lingering kiss.

The Expressway was unusually clear, and he made record time. Strolling into his law firm, he found his secretary already on the job, with a cup of steaming coffee ready and waiting.

“Mornin’ Caroline.” he said.  “Gee, what time did you leave the haystack this morning?” he laughed.

“’Bout half past five,” she replied.

“Boy, you need to learn to relax. Take a vacation, go to the Bahamas or something.” Joe chuckled, mentally telling himself the same thing.

Caroline turned to him and somberly responded, “Joe, I’ve got two children and no one to take care of them, besides me. Don’t worry, I’ll get all the rest I need when I am dead.” Joe shuddered at such a morbid thought.

“Then work hard, Caroline, work hard. May it be a long time before vacation comes.” He turned.

“Enough talk of death! What’s today’s date?”

“11th of September boss. 09-11.”

“Okay, so we’ve got the Escobedo brothers coming in today to file a compliant. Draw up their papers-have it ready by twelve. Okay?”

“Sure thing, sir.”

So saying, Joe went to his desk, and sprung into action. The day flew by, as did every day in the city. A few hours later, Joe looked at his watch. 8:58. “I better go tell Caroline to start preparing the next case,” The mention of Caroline sent his thoughts back to her earlier remark. What did she mean “I will get all the rest I need when I am dead?” Was she depressed, possibly suicidal? Joe shrugged the matter off, and tried to focus on the task ahead of him.

The more he concentrated his efforts, the more irritated he became. Something was wrong. Something, somewhere was drastically not right. Frustrated, he left his desk. He glanced at his watch again. 9:02

“Caroline!” He saw her sitting at her desk, hands busy typing up the report he had given her.

“Caroline, the Escobedo brothers will be here soon. Leave that report, and start the next case.” He paused,

“Caroline-about what you said earlier, what did you mean?”

“What, about vacation?” He nodded.

“I don’t know. It was just a thought, something that sprang into my mind. Life is so - ”, She broke off, her eyes widening with terror. Pointing speechlessly at something behind Joe’s back, she gasped in horror. Joe whirled around and wished he hadn’t. What met his eyes was horrific beyond his belief. He saw a plane, followed by an explosion of glass and steel. His office trembled under the impact.
Instinctively, Joe knew that this was not the end. There had to be more.

“Caroline! We’ve got to get out of the building!” he bellowed.

Caroline faced him, her eyes a mask of shock, of fear. She didn’t move.

“Caroline!” He slapped her. No response. Picking her up, he burst through the door, only to be faced with an armed security guard.

“Calm down sir. A plane crashed into the North Tower. Everything is under control. Return to your office,” the guard said. “We’re doing all that we can.”

“Sir,” Joe replied. “We are located in the building next to the North Tower. Isn’t it logical to assume that this building, its brother will be next? Let me through!”

The guard grasped his arm and whispered, “Listen man. This could be a terrorist attack. We’re not sure as to just what it is. If I let you go it could ignite a panic, causing the needless death of thousands. I can’t afford that! Everything is all right. Just stay calm.” So saying, the guard released him.

“Let’s get this young lady to the medical wing.” He took her, and proceeded to make his way through the milling crowd. Torn between concern for his secretary and thoughts of his own safety, Joe opted to seize his chance and make his way out of the building. He found that he was not alone. Hundreds thronged the stairs. He was on the 22nd floor of the tower, when the second plane struck.
Complete chaos reigned. The lights on the stairwell flickered, then went out, as electricity was lost. Groping blindly for the stair rail, Joe stumbled, tripped and fell as bodies ran, screamed, and begged for mercy. The passageway became completely congested as people from the higher floors joined those already fleeing. He felt himself being jostled and battered by the merciless crowd.

“O God, be merciful!” he screamed. Someone’s elbow slammed into his nose, and he felt spurts of blood begin to flow over his face. Too afraid to care, Joe shoved and forced his way through the multitude, seeking an exit sign, a door, anything.

Someone screamed as what appeared to be a piece of falling steel landed nearby. Joe collapsed when he realize that it was a human, its’ features too charred to be recognizable. Somehow finding the strength to push himself up, he forced his way through the building, which could easily become his tomb. Gazing ahead through bloodied eyes, he knew escape would be hopeless; for people were hindered by falling stairs, steel beams and glass.

Looking desperately around, his eyes fell upon an emergency exit, which he knew led through the underground sewers until it reentered the city, about two streets uptown. Seizing the only option available to him, Joe scrambled through the exit, and down the tunnel. He felt his feet slip, as he fell, deep underground.

He landed in a pile of liquid. Clutching at straws for survival, he groped through the darkness feeling his way forward, towards where he hoped light would be. As gross darkness completely enveloped him, he thought of his wife. The will to survive grew desperately within him, and he forced his way on.

Joe pressed the illuminator button on his watch. The time read 10:22 am. As he was tempted to lie down and succumb to the weariness within him, his eyes caught a glimmer of light ahead. Rising to his feet, he beheld the exit he so earnestly sought.

He emerged in the street, covered with blood and filth. As he stepped up, he narrowly escaped death again-this time from being trampled under the feet of those fleeing the city. Joe was shoved aside, or ignored completely, as people stopped their cars and fled on foot.

He looked up. A plume of smoke rose where the once proud and seemingly invincible towers had stood. Now whirlwinds of debris, glass and steel rained down upon the heads of the inhabitants. Fleeing for his life yet once again, he joined the masses in their escape of the city. Appearing as fugitives from the claws of death, their faces indiscernible, some scorched, some with crushed limbs, some void and destitute of any bodily features; they were submerged in despair, gloom and defeat.

He saw the second building fall-with it fell the glory it had once known.

“Caroline!” he screamed. Tears for his friend and co-worker mingled with blood that so marred his face. He turned, his heart rent with grief, and ran. And as he ran, he left behind him a mark, a symbol, which would be seared and impressed upon the hearts and mind of his nation. In his mind’s eye, he saw troops marching off to war. He saw bombs, death and destruction. His eyes beheld blood and fire. All this and he ran. For history continues its trend, its march towards eternity. A cloud of smoke covered New York City.

And overhead an eagle soared.

Terrorism by Kristina Smithy (Age 8)

The sight of September 11th, brought tears to most of our eyes. It’s not fair that innocent lives were killed. I thank the people who saved some of the people that were in the World Trade Center. Some firemen and women and police officers were killed trying to save people. Some kids might have wanted to work there when they grew up. Now they can’t. Some of us are afraid to go on airplanes. I am one of them. I will never forget the people who died. This all happened because of terrorism. I still and always will hate terrorism.

One by One by Shante Thomas (Age 10)

One by one, people were dying and suffering from the tragedy of September 11th. One by one, hearts were being torn by death of our loved ones, families and friends. One by one, our strength to carry on is being tested. But we will unite and help each other heal. Our life has changed and will be changed forever. But our strength to keep our freedom will help us to heal and carry on, one by one.

Remembering September 11 by Ashley D’Amico (Age 8)

I will remember September 11th when the terrorists attacked. Many lives were lost. Much sadness seeped across the U.S. I felt scared, weak. September 11th will stay with me forever because it was the saddest day of my life because I almost lost my family. My two great uncles are New York police officers. One of them was working on September 11th and one was on vacation.

“When it is Dark Enough You Can See the Stars.” - Charles A. Beard by Kevin Long (Age 10)

In a time of need, our country has shown that it still stands united. In the last ten weeks it has been dark, black and very hard to live a normal, everyday life. The stars, Mayor Guiliani and President Bush, will work together and gather more stars that can guide us through this tragedy and back into the light that is normal life.

The New York City Fire Fighters gave the word hero a new definition with their courage. Superman was brave and courageous in his stories, but not even he would have the courage to save hundreds of lives, work twelve-hour days, and carry disabled men and women down fifty to one hundred flights of stairs. The fire fighters are true super heroes.

It’s crazy that in two hours the world changes and a “page” in history and life is “turned.” Our lives will never be the same. Prior to September 11th the news was about President Bush not speaking correct English, and now it is about 3,500 people dying in these attacks.

Now there’s a new normal, a normal that includes anthrax and constant fears. To survive in this new normal we must wake up and rise to the situation. This tragedy has brought out the best of the United States of America and its people. It shows that we really are indivisible as stated in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Andrea's Diary by Andrea DiBernardo (Age 10)

September 11, 2001

Today I woke up the same as every other day. Brushed my teeth and got ready for school. Only today was not like every other day. A great tragedy struck the United States. The New York City Twin Towers were attacked by terrorists and also the Pentagon. Thousands of people were missing and many were killed. Now that I am sitting here in my room and thinking about what happened today and how it had a huge effect on all the people, I get sad just thinking about it. What will happen next? Will the world ever be the same again?

September 12, 2001

Another day and you can’t believe what is happening in the world. People from all over are getting together to help one another. Fire fighters and police men are all working so hard to help. I’m sure glad to be an American right now.

September 13, 2001

Today was an amazing day, people are now giving food, donating money to the Red Cross, and I never even knew that these things going on around me existed. People are even giving blood to help the people hurt in this tragedy. My family is watching the news to hear all that is going on. I feel so sad inside, and I am still trying to understand what is going on. I hear it on TV, cause I don’t want to watch, and wonder how something so close to us is happening but every day in my life still feels the same. I think this is a really sad time for everyone but maybe people will be kinder to one another and care more for each other. So maybe tomorrow when I wake up to another day, the world will be done with terrorism and will be a happy place for everyone.

Words of Terror and Renewal by Lindsay Abrams (Age 11)

Terror. Dread. Horror. Hate. Fear! These are some of the words most Americans associate with September 11th. The terror of watching the World Trade Center fall, over and over on your television. The dread of not ever seeing your loved ones again. The horror of how quickly our lives were changed. The hate, no, loathing for the man behind all of this. The fear that he will do it again.

I think of these words, but I associate others, such as learning, renewal, and love. I know that too many people have lost their tempers, saying a cruel thing that they soon regret. Then they rush to the person they hurt, apologize, and promise they love them. What if that chance never came? What if the last words you said to your parents were words you never meant? I learned from September 11th to always say, “I love you” to someone before I leave.

Renewal. Before September 11th, my biggest worries in life were how good my hair looked and that I dressed “cool.” I never really stopped to think how lucky I am to have a loving family, a safe home, and food on the table. I never thought about how many kids have rags as clothing, and no place to live. Now I always thank God I am so lucky, and try hard to help others. I feel as if I am a new person.

Love. I have always taken my family for granted. I never stopped to think how easily they can be taken from me. I must remember this and try not to get annoyed with them over silly things.

When I hear the words September 11th, I think.

Standing Strong by Chrissy Schery (Age 13)

It was 4th period when I heard the news about the horrible plane crash that changed our lives forever.

“Sorry for this announcement, but there have been some unexplained plane crashes. We promise you that this school is safe. Thank you,” explained the principal on the loud speaker sounding like a baby mouse that had been crying for hours. My heart started to pound because of the sound in her voice and the confusion going on in the classroom so I asked my friend, “What do you think happened?” “Not sure, but I hope everyone is okay,” she answered. “See you guys tomorrow, “ shouted Ms. Roberts as kids flushed into the hallways. I kept wondering what was going on.

As I came up to my next class I saw puzzled faces. I sat down and the sub began, “Everyone please sit down I have something important to talk to you about.” When I heard that I knew this was an emergency. “As you all know there have been--.”

“Hello,” sounded the loud speaker.

“Yes,” replied the sub.

“Chrissy for dismissal.”

“Sure, Chrissy did you hear that?”

“Yes,” I replied as I picked up my books and walked into the hallway to my locker. The hallways weren’t exactly empty because other kids were also packing up.

When I walked downstairs I saw my dad, brother and sister. “C’mon, let’s go,” said my dad. We walked to the sign out sheet where I saw a lady’s hand shaking non-stop while she was writing. We then exited making our way to the car. The roads were very crowded and there was a lot of honking. I had never seen anything like that before.

On the way home it was awfully quiet, which is very unusual. When we came to our driveway I saw my mom in tears on the phone. She said she had something in her eye even though I knew she was really crying. As we all walked into the kitchen my dad explained, “I’ve been called into the City to help with the plane crashes.” He got 3 sandwiches he had already made for us kids, turned on the television and continued, “Two planes have crashed into the WTC and now all the firemen and policeman have been called in to help.” He kissed us all and then started again, “I’ll call you when I find out some news, love you all and see you tomorrow.” “Love you,” shouted my mom, brother, sister and I, “be careful, see you tomorrow,” we continued as he walked down the stairs.

My mom went outside and my dad closed the door behind them. I got tears in my eyes and I began to cry. As I looked up I saw my sister also crying and my brother’s eyes were tearing. I heard the bell to the back door ring, thinking it was my dad, I ran downstairs and yelled, “Daddy?” When I came to the door I heard a voice say, “No Daddy just left.” When she opened the door, my mom saw everyone crying so she said, “Come lets go upstairs.” She walked us upstairs and tried to comfort us. “Don’t worry guys he will call as --,” she was cut off by the phone. My sister jumped off the couch and went to answer it, “Hello,” she began, “Sure hold on, mom it’s for you.” “Thanks hun,”
she replied as she went for the phone. She started to walk downstairs and I began to follow.

She walked outside and then I knew this was important. I felt this could help me understand what was going on so I sat on the floor by the door and began to listen. “Yes, he just left for work,” she began, “I’m scared. I couldn’t imagine anything like this happening. I can’t handle this. I have no idea when he’ll be back,” she paused and I began to cry. I heard footsteps coming to the door but I hesitated to move. When I heard her hand on the door I scurried into the computer room. There I sat and wondered about everything going on. Is everyone going to be okay? Did anyone get hurt? Will my Daddy be okay?

* * * * * *

“Ring, Ring,” sounded the phone in the middle of dinner. Since everyone had called to see how my dad was doing I thought it might be someone calling that was concerned for him. “Hello,” exclaimed my mom as she walked upstairs. This time I didn’t follow, I instead sat and continued to eat. When my mom came downstairs she said, “That was John, (someone my dad works with), he said that Daddy’s Engine is returning to the firehouse and we can finally call him.” My mom started to dial his number with a big grin on her face. Her just saying that made me feel so much better and happy. You can’t believe how much of an impact one day could have on everyone’s life.

I feel the pain of everyone who had a loved one that was in the City on that awful day. I thank God for letting my dad come home safe and I give all my support to all the families that have either fathers or mothers that still haven’t come home.

“When it is dark enough, you can see stars.” - Charles Beard by Nicole Montrony (Age 10)

When I think or read this quote it makes me think of the tragedy that happened on September 11, 2001. I think about the mean acts and the sadness of the people. In my mind I see people crying and running away from a lot of smoke. I remember seeing the firefighters on television putting out the Twin Towers fires. It made me feel good and happy to see people were saving lives and cared about others. The firefighters worked to save others even though they didn’t know who they were.

This quote brings to mind another tragedy that happened to me personally. One day last April the fire alarm at my school went off. I got a little scared when it went off, because my teacher usually tell us when there is going to be a drill. Once I got outside and saw smoke I knew it was a real fire. This was one of the darkest moments of my school year. However, good things did come of that horrible event. Other schools let us stay in their buildings and people and stores donated a lot of school supplies and backpacks.

Seeing the firefighters on television and at my school made me realize who the stars are. I also realized when times are dark there’s always stars to be seen, eventually.

What is takes to be a Patriot in America Today by Keith Burns (Age 18)

It takes certain types of people to be patriots in America today. We are a nation of variety and because of that, no race can be solely identified with this great nation. No gender should be masked to it as well. These patriots should simply be open-minded, fair, and believe in the American ways all 365 days of the year.

An American patriot does not hang an American flag on his possessions, then run out and assault someone due to their appearance or beliefs. The mounting of the American flag is a nice gesture. It symbolizes peace, unity, and understanding within our country. These are nice words, but can only be words unless you believe in them; otherwise the flag is no more than a colorful piece of cloth. It is much harder for one to be an American patriot.

You must believe in the American dreams that, like hands, clench so tight to our flag to take them off would leave nothing but a torn rag ripped from the fists that would not unclench, because they are believed so strongly by so many. American ways are about tolerance, respect for yourself and others, as well as freedom; that you can have Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

What I ask is that you all become patriots in America today. Do not look at the Star Spangled Banner as an inconvenience when you are at your locker. Show a little bit more respect toward others different from you. We must not just do these patriotic things on holidays or times under attack, but always.

After the recent tragedies in America, heroes have come out, and come together to unify this country. They have put aside all that is petty and replaced it with what is just. Americans have shown that we are a free nation that we will fight in order to protect ourselves, and keep ourselves free. A country full of heroes trying to preserve the union. Now if you believe in all that I said, then don’t we all have the ability to be heroes too?


Downfall by Aimee Oz (Age 16)

Blue bursts into flames
Gray clasps ashen eyes.
Bleeding throats...
Crimson explodes...
Conscious fractures...
Within Serenity’s shadows laughter’s lost.
Mourning sky splattered pavement.

9.11.01 by Lauren Goldman (Age 12)

A few moments ago my brother was hit by a plane,
I am telling everyone in my building to get out as fast as possible.
As all this is going on,
Hoping another plane won’t come and hit me,
I am very scared, for now I know he may not survive this tragic thing.

I see another plane in the distance,
I fear it is heading straight for me.
Not everyone is out of me, especially the people on the top floors.
I see firemen and policemen going up the stairs inside,
I hope they will get out before this plane comes crashing into me.

This plane is now going to hit me.
The firemen and policemen went back into my brother moments ago.
No one can breathe out here,
For the smoke is too much for people to take in,
They must find a place where they can stay and rest a while.

It has only been ten minutes since my brother was hit,
Even though it feels like forever.
I can hear him crying,
I have a feeling that it hurts a lot.
The Plane has gone right into his heart,
And it hurts to see him go.

And now as the plane hits me,
I feel all the pain he feels.
Now that the plane has gone into my heart as well.
For now I am going with him,
On a journey that will hurt the nation so very much.

“I am going down to the ground right now,”
I scream to the world, but no one can hear me for I am just a building.
All the people inside of me are scared of what is going to happen to their families,
For the people inside are now going down with me.

I hear people making calls,
Telling their loved ones how much they will miss them,
For we are just a memory in your hearts now, they said.

I start to fall,
And I am telling everyone to run as far away from us as they can,
I hear someone scream out, “Run, this tower is coming down.”
For now I know that I am also just a memory in everyone’s hearts.

Now my brother is coming down right next to me.
And we start to say our good-byes.
We say good-bye to the world, to our fellow buildings, to our friends,
And most of all we tell each other good-bye
And now I must stop writing, for I no longer exist.
I am just a memory and heartache for everyone in this world that this has been affected.

Beyond Beliefs by Candice Gurbatri (Age 9)

On a beautiful day in September
Forever we will remember
When terrorists attacked our city
And changed our lives forever

Innocent lives were ended
By this hideous and horrific crime
With tears in our eyes and pain in our hearts
We thank God for those alive

So let us pray everyday
For those who tragically lost their lives
And for families that still hold on
Hoping for a miracle from beyond

The Saving of Lives! by Jessica Lambe (Age 11)

I wish, I wish,
With all my might that
On September 11, 2001

I was able to go into the
future and see what was
going to happen

Then to come back and get
everyone to safety and be
able to shut everything

Before...Before...the Plane came to town!

The Last Generation by Jenna Mistretta (Age 16)

I ride upon the waves
Of a turbulent sea
The smoky water threatening
To capsize my miniscule boat
Fire alights the sky
And I turn my face away
For I will never make it to land
In time to save those
Who need saving
I reach out
With my mind
To try and see those hidden
Who hide within rocks
And shallow mountains
I reach out
With my mind
To try and see what
Will become of us
Will our world continue to fall?
Crumple and die beneath our feet?
It seems that we are the anti-midas
What we touch does not turn to gold
Instead it withers
Beneath our soiled fingers
Such blackened souls
Do not belong in this generation
I raise my face towards the crimson clouds
And search the sky for signs
The fire stretches across the vast horizon,
Encasing the empty sea in
A ring of undying flames
Lightening splits the clouds
And the storm heightens
Scarlet droplets fall upon
My upturned face
And I wonder
What has brought upon this storm
Charged not with electricity
And ferocious winds
But with hatred, and fear
With terror and fury
And I ride the waves in my small boat
The fire starts to crawl across the ocean
Tired of the burnt land
That could no longer contain it’s burning
My boat catches fire
And I look up at the sky one more time
And it rains down blood
Stinging droplets
Of lives lost and damned
This is the world we live in
Could it be that I am really
One of the last
In the last generation?

One Day in September by Bridget Condon (Age 11)

Tuesday the eleventh dawns like any other day
Sunlight breaks the grayness as we row upon the bay
Herons, gulls and egrets barely glance as we glide by
They’re creatures, at this hour, that rule the brightening sky
These mornings are a treasure, Dad and I agree
As I walk into my house,
My Dad welcomes me with unpleasant events
The peak of New York City has exploded into fire
Thick, black smoke is billowing from our economic spire
Do we work? Do we stop? Are they getting out?
Message light is blinking--where are you? Are you there?
Are your brothers in New York today? Is your sister in the air?
Cell phones are not working—have you seen the awful news?
What on earth is happening? Has anyone a clue?
Yes, the TV’s on, but I can’t absorb the scene
News uninterrupted, it’s bad and getting worse
Crash into the towers—the idea is so perverse
Ten thousand in each edifice had just begun their day
Now a pile of rubble—and all I can do is pray
Let there be survivors, please; God, we need you now
Jet slams into shining glass
The hundredth time today
Another angle, another shot
Let’s review that play
But this is not a game
Fires burning, twisted steel, it’s such a wrenching sight
Sweetheart, please come over, I can’t be alone tonight
Earlier this morning it was birds that ruled the sky
Now it’s raining jet fuel—why did they have to die?
All those lonely pillows in so many empty beds
Family and friends are safe, but I can’t catch my breath
Two degrees of separation keep me from knowing death
Search for justice underway
Portends a mourning dove
In the end, there’s love and fear
And fear is lack of love
Our caring may be our hope

Breath by Barry Levin (Age 13)

I take a deep breath,
Ashes and asbestos,
Ashes of the people.
I breathe in the last minute writings,
I breathe in the last will and testaments.
I breathe in the towers,
I breathe in the ashes,
of those who are no longer breathing
And a tear falls,
And I breathe.

Requiem For the Singers by Katelyn Lepore (Age 12)

In fire and ash a song has died
The world is left to wonder why
The notes were ripped right off the page
All in a desperate act of rage
Voices silenced in mid-song
A symphony lost in a world gone wrong

Stunned and saddened our loss is great
Yet we must not give our hearts to hate
Each to another we hold out a hand
Lifting ourselves up as a united land
Inspired by bravery we stand ever strong
Each remembering pieces of the lost song

The melody is changed but the music goes on
Our hopes and freedom will never be gone
The rhythm runs through each and every soul
Perfect harmony is the ultimate goal
As we perform together in peace and love
We pray to the singers to guide us from above.

September 11th, 2001 by Louis Zaza (Age 13)

September eleventh is when it began.
America was struck by terrorists from Afghanistan.
A sight no one will ever forget.
One World Trade Center was struck with a Jet.
Eighteen minutes later Tower two was hit.
I thought to myself, “Could this be it?”
I heard on TV, America was under attack.
I felt a strange chill running up and down my back.
How could this be, did we do something wrong?
Two towers aflame that stood so strong.
Now if that wasn’t enough a new flash said,
“Plane crashes into the Pentagon, at least 64 dead.”
9:50 a.m. One World Trade center crumbles.
30 minutes later its twin brother rumbles.
People running across bridges and trying to flee.
I keep asking myself, “How could this be?”
President Bush tells us we’re under attack,
By faceless cowards and their pack.
We will stand together and stand tall
No one on earth can make America fall.
We found that the Taliban is to blame,
Osama Bin Laden says it’s a religious war.
Doesn’t religion teach us to love and adore?
He said we’re all hypocrites that follow the wrong path.
Now he faces the Bald Eagle’s wrath.
Joined together with Countries afar,
Let’s see who’ll win this so called religious war.
Osama Bin Laden you think you rule, but you’re nothing more
Than the back end of a mule!
Our God we know is just and kind, and I know he’s watching
And isn’t blind.
For all the Mothers, Fathers, Son and Daughters too,
I pray that the end of your pain is soon for you.
You took the lives that they held so dear,
And filled their hearts with hate and fear.
Justice will be done, be it far or near.
President Bush made that perfectly clear.
Osama Bin Laden you hurt America and me.
I will always wonder, “How could this be?”

The Day of Mourning by Lauren Del Giorno (Age 13)

September 11th
An unthinkable day
A day a grieving
A day of pain

There is one man
To decide the destiny
Of the people who destroyed
New York’s holy gates

The man’s name is leader
And a guide and president
Not acting hastily, under pressure
But trusting himself to do what’s right

“We’re gonna smoke ‘em”
Those famous words
At his conference
To calm the public down

“We’re gonna smoke ‘em”
Said he in his speech
Anthrax to crop dusters
Everything will be all right

“We’re gonna smoke ‘em out of their cave”
To find a man
Named Bin Laden
To end this war and all be saved

Bombs exploding

For the sinister Taliban
Await their judgment day

A great nation
Waits in horror
Thinking, waiting, contemplating
To see what happens tomorrow.

Untitled by Amy Stephenson (Age 17)


Double Take

Deafening silence, which ensues
The proverbial ripple effect
The hunt




The ticker tape parade
The echoing cry of a gull on an otherwise soundless morning
The fear



Buried in the horizon
Candles feathered by the moonlight
The reign of tears

From Sea to Shining Sea.

Helping by Erin Bubka (Age 11)

People have died
You've helped as much as you could
You still think you should have done more
Everything's going so fast you can't keep up
You're thinking everyone else can
You're turning and turning and no way to stop
And suddenly you halt
You get up on your feet and start helping again.

Silence by Ashley Jean Roethel (Age 13)

A million moments of silence
Will never echo the quiet of the grave
A billion banners flying
Cannot free terror’s slave
A thousand poets scribbling
What solace can they give?
The most beautiful lyric or appropriate metaphor
Will not allow the dead to live.
Rewind and stop the footage
Clear the stones away one by one
But you cannot unmake the memories
Cannot undo what has been done.
But still we keep on trying
Keep our hopes and spirits strong
‘Cause the truth is, we’re American
And we don’t stay down for long.

Goodbye by John Michael Nitti (Age 14)

So this is goodbye,
It’s been way too brief
It’s easy to cry,
For we have so much grief

We try to be strong,
Though not easily done
Life isn’t long
With you we had fun

And when we look back,
On days you were here
No memory will lack
Fun and great cheer

You ran up the stairs,
Of the towers that day
Not the worst of flares
Would get in your way

Although unexpected,
You left 9/11
Many were affected,
You went straight to Heaven

You’ll surely be missed,
But not forever
We’ll see you soon
This we endeavor

No more violence
Our hearts will allow
Because you stood against it
Goodbye for now

The Fight for Life: Good and Evil by Jon Kuhn (Age 15)

Peaceful twins cuddling peers
Peaceful times turn into tears
For great evil has struck the towers,
With many dead in a couple of hours.

War and death have done this deed
For evil’s the one planting the seed
Of death and anguish
Killing lots
Though I know
Will rise to the top
Uniting people of different races
Relieving the sadness in their faces.

We join together for a common cause
To stop the people who break our laws.
For evil has taken all the wrong trails,
And as we know, evil never prevails.

Untitled by Carly Emmer (Age 9)

As I write
I weep and cry
For all those souls that passed.

For all those dreams
That blew away
For all those dreams
For all those dreams.

But now we start a clean sheet
For a new year
But a permanent mark stays forever
The broken dream of eternal peace
Like all those souls

But the future is new
And all we have is

OUR HOPE NOT BROKEN by Jessica Szewczuk (Age 12)

When the Twin Towers were hit
Everyone was in shock
People screaming and running
Not believing what was happening to us
We the nation of strength and teams
The nation that gives hope and dreams
The nation that was built with confidence and care
The nation that will always be there
When this tragedy occurred everyone went mad
The city was in chaos, really bad
People said that everyone would be torn
They were right for we continue to mourn
This tragedy will be hard to mend
But we never were so close
Everyone is everyone’s friend
This terror that happened just brought us tighter
Boosted up our confidence and made our hearts brighter
We are all working as a team, we’re all helping out
The city is slowly being fixed and there is less doubt
So there goes to show that whatever may be
Our people will always be confident and free
Nothing can ruin our foundation
No one can take apart this nation
No one can ever kill America’s heart
Nothing can rip our bond apart
Our flesh and blood has built this great nation
Our hearts and minds have created America’s foundation
So whatever happens and whatever goes on
America will always continue to be strong
Nothing can make us weak
Only help build our strength to the highest peak
No one can ever put us to defeat
For America’s heart will ALWAYS continue to beat!

I Hold in My Hand by John DeStefano (Age 11)

I hold in my hand a handshake of peace,
To give my fellow man.
No matter his color or the language he speaks
Or if he comes from a far away land.

I hold in my hand a handshake of peace,
No matter how hard it may be.
When there are feelings of anger and pain.
And loss of liberty.

To wake up one day and find out our nation
Will never be the same,
I will scream and shout and fight till the end,
For each and every name.

I hold in my hand a handshake of peace,
When peace is not what I feel,
To hurt my country and cause it harm is never part of the deal.

And though I was told so many times “forgive and turn the other cheek,”
Those words seem so hard to understand
When the sadness makes us feel weak.

I hold in my hand a handshake of peace,
But I choose to keep it inside,
How can anyone ever expect us to forgive
When so many people died?

But a new day comes and time passes by,
To wipe the anger away,
And I learn that only a few caused
The troubles of many today.

I hold in my hand a handshake of peace,
Even though, my hand may be small
And justice has to find its way,
To help us through this all

And we may be enemies or we may be friends,
Continents and oceans apart
But when I hold in my hand the handshake of peace,
It is a present from my heart.

A New Era by Samantha Harwood (Age 9)

S urprise! Sparing planes through the air
E xploded in the two buildings that were related. They were twins.
P eople panicking, scared, trying to escape.
T error struck thousands that terrible day.
E mergency! Emergency! They called their loved ones in one last desperate attempt.
M any wonderful people, all brave, lost their lives and their families that September day.
B rutilized by terror
E veryone will
R emember.
E merging from disaster with great sorrow and tears
L ives trying to get back together with much love and support.
E veryone’s spirit will live on together and forever.
V ictorious we will emerge from that very terrible day.
E ven more strongly we have united together.
N ever again shall
T error rule
H umanity shall survive! God Bless America!