9/11 Shock Waves

Today I watched the 9/11 memorial,
similar to the time I watched 8 years ago,
on Good Morning America.
I sat with my
9 month old babies,
talking on the phone to my husband.

I watched at the moment,
Charlie Gibson,
was getting alarmed at
the live sight of planes
crashing into the twin towers.
I watched captivated all day
with my nation.

Completely in disbelief.
I continued to watch as the,
details came in,
the immensity of the tragedy
growing minute by minute.

911 (1)

My heart felt the shock waves,
from so far away.
Our entire culture still
feels them today.
We bow our head
and remember the dead,
We become silent inside
And, in our hearts, they still abide.


We all feel the shock

going forward through time,

since 9/11.

My relative, two tours
in the war zone, maybe
three, soon.



My friend,
grieving for the loss of her
son, from the war.
The many, many
suffering families,
with loss and grief.


We feel the shock waves
return with each disaster.
35W bridge collapse,
in my own hometown,
where my husband travels,
Each tragedy,
personal or national,
reckons back…
intensified by our
experience of 9/11.

911 (2)

We have all struggled to
feel safe again,
to hope again,
for better times.
But we are strong,
and together we belong,
where we can find,
a way out of this bind.

8 years ago, as I watched
the terror unfold,
I was a new parent,
thankful to protect my infants
at home, watching their every move.
So new to the world from my
protected womb.
This week, 8 years later,
I send them to school
for the first time,
so new to the world,
from their protected
home school.


I sign the medical forms,
and pray,
please protect my child,
from anaphylaxis…





I sign the forms,
please administer potassium iodide,
in case of
“a nuclear event,”
required, due to our
proximity to a nuclear
power plant.

My concerns seem so minor,
in view of the events,
but the outcome,
should a disaster
or accident occur,
for me, as a parent,
would be the same.

I feel the ripple
of the shock wave
of fear,
intensified in our culture.
Another reminder
of our lack of control.


Safety, protection,
control of the terrorists,
all illusions…
We do our best,
but pain and loss
are inevitable.

What can we do,
to heal the shock waves?
What can we do,
to help our fear recede?

breathe (2)

Breathe in the pain of our
friends and family,
Breathe out the love
that surpasses all comprehension…
…I feel it is not enough.



breathe (6)

Breathe in the pain of our world,
Breathe out compassion…
…I still feel it is not enough.

Breathe in your own fears and insecurities,
Breathe out stillness and peace.



breathe (5)

Remember our shared humanity.
Feel the compassion arise.

Remember our shared Spirit.
Watch the wisdom arise.


go help those in need,
each day and
keep breathing.

Anne Tyler Lord