Friday, September 11, 2009


NYSkylineiStock-1.jpg the twin towers image by Cheese-it_1995

I guess anyone who is old enough will remember where they were when they heard the news of 9/11/01.  I was on the playground with my kids.  Lyn, my principal and good friend, came out with a post-it note with the words,"an airplane crashed into one of the twin towers" written on it.  At first we thought it was an accident.  Then the second plane hit.  We knew we were under attack.  I remember the sadness, the patriotism, the fear. I know you do too.  It is etched in my mind.  I am old enough to remember the JFK assassination (OK I was in first grade – but I DO remember), Martin Luther King’s assassination, the moon landing and other historic events.  9/11 stands out in my mind in a big way.  Our world was changed that morning wasn’t it?  I suppose that every 9/11 for as long as we live we will remember.

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Every year on this day it comes ringing back.  On my way to work this morning I was listening to NPR.  There is a little segment on Friday mornings called Story Corps.  It is only about 3 minutes long.  Today’s installment was from a New York City firefighter.  He was the father of two young men, one also NYC firefighter, the other an NYPD detective.  Both lost their lives at the Twin Towers on 9/11/01.    

 Probably every American singer/songwriter alive at that time wrote their own song to capture their reflections of 9/11/01.  These are the lyrics to a song I wrote on 9/12/01.  It was originally called "6,000 Souls" because that is how many we thought died that fateful day.  Later that month when the brave crisis workers who sifted through the rubble determined the true number of people who died, the title was changed to "3,000 Souls".  A friend of ours, a principal at a school not far from ground zero, told us a heart-wrenching story of her students watching as folks fell or jumped from the building in flames.  From their vantage point the falling victims looked like birds on fire.

3000 Souls 

Late summer day, They make their way to work

Mid-September morning, It's a beautiful day in New York

Three thousand souls, In their daily grind

Going to the office, Nothing special on their minds

(CHORUS) Kissed their loved ones good-bye

Just like they did the day before

Now we're left to wonder why

What was their dying for?

Brothers and sisters, Not soldiers fighting in a war

Just everyday people, But now forever so much more

Innocent children wonder, Why are the birds all on fire?

Teacher doesn't answer, She cannot make herself a liar

(CHORUS) Kissed their loved ones good-bye

Just like they did the day before

Now we're left to wonder why

What was their dying for?

Al of those dreams never dreamt, All of those habits never shaken

All of those tears never cried, All of those chances never taken

So we've got to have faith, We've got to try to understand

And we've got to believe, They didn't die in vain

(BRIDGE) Just don't call it a holy war

That's not what their dying was for

I don't know what justice is

But I pray - it will prevail

And that our spirit remains strong

And I pray - our love won't fail

Just don't call it a holy war

That's not what their dying was for

It's the home of the brave, And the land of the free

And we've got to believe, That it's still going to be

Late summer day, They make their way to work

Mid-September morning, It's a beautiful day in New York.

I can't help but include in this post a direct quote from Glen Beck about his feelings concerning 9/11 victims.  I will not comment on them.  I cannot.  I don't need to.  His words speak for themselves.

BECK: You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims’ families. It took me about a year. Um, and I had such compassion for them and I really, you know, I wanted to help them, and I was behind — let’s give them money, let’s get them started, and all of this stuff. And I really didn’t — all the 3,000 victims’ families, I don’t hate all of them, I hate about, probably about ten of them. But when I see 9/11 victim family, you know, on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up.’ I’m so sick of them. Because they’re always complaining. And we did our best for them. And again, it’s only about ten.

I'd be interested to read what you think.


George said...

I thought Glen Beck still had a long way to go the catch up with Rush as the biggest jerk ever, but now I'm convinced it's a goal that he can easily attain. Congrats to Mr Beck on being a giant douchebag.

Alan Wieder said...

Hi Tim

First time looking at your blog in a while. Two thoughts in opposite order. It is too easy to say that Beck is an idiot. Rather, he is mean spirited and dangerous. While I might be impatient with Obama, he fans the flames of hatred. Besides being extremely sad and wanting, the 9-11 families that he hates were politicized by the attack. They know that the Bush administration and the global corporate word that it supports, as does Obama I fear say, is the emperor with no clothe.

Second point, when I think of 9-11 the U.S. involvement in assassinating Allende in Chile comes to mind first!

Hope all is good with you


smooth said...

I did find the audio of Beck's comment about the 9/11 families and it'only a 50 second sound bite that is obviously taken out of context. As it is written on your blog, and even to listen to, it seems distasteful, and I couldn't find a transcript to try to put it into context. Instead, after looking at the over 500 comments left on youtube, it appears he is talking about the 10 families who blame Bush and the government for the disaster, referring to it as a conspiracy by our government. The 10 families apparently have been trying to get more settlement money and this is what he is railing about. Again, may not be the right choice of words but this is the problem with sound bites, you don't always get the full content of what is being said.

daffyford said...


First time to comment. Does your 9/11 song have music, or only lyrics? I want to hear you sing it. The imagery is lovely, dark and lovely.

I'm crazy about your blog. I am so glad to discover it. Can't get enough of it. I wish I had more time to read, because I have so many posts to catch up on. Wonder how long it will take to read them all?

I love your kids. I miss teaching so much and your blog just puts me right back into the classroom again after so many years. Thanks.

See you Sunday at the park, my friend.