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September Morning: Ten Years of Poems and Readings from the 9/11 Ceremonies New York City
Do you remember where you were when you heard that a plane had crashed into a World Trade Center tower? I said, "What, a small engine plane flown by some nutcase? It's been 11 years since a series of four suicide attacks that were committed on our country. The destruction of the Twin Towers caused serious damage to our economy and had a significant impact on global markets. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May , and the Pentagon was repaired within a year. There also is a Pentagon Memorial, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, not far from where I was broadcasting from when the plane crashed.
These words carry with them the heart of New York—how the city chose to remember and reflect upon, grieve and heal from, this world-changing event. In , New York City was faced with the question of how to create a public ceremony that would both bear witness to a national tragedy and honor the private grief, to be held at the site of the attacks. How does a city and its people mourn and remember? How do you give loss a human face? New York chose to create a ceremony based around the sharing of poetry, readings, and personal remembrances.
9/11: Second plane hits South Tower
The Poetry Foundation:. It was my second week as a newly-minted professor in the Midwest, September 11, , and I hustled to complete a lecture on imagery when my wife called. All I could think was, "why is she calling me ten minutes before I have to teach? By the time I arrived in the classroom, after hearing the full extent of the morning's events, I could barely get through the poem without breaking down in tears. It wasn't just the bag of ears that the Colonel pours across his opulent table. It's the violence at the perimeters of vision-the filed nails of the daughter, the moon hanging on a cord, the house surrounded by a wall of broken bottles, the gratings on the window, even the rack of lamb. The poem works not merely by intimating torture, but by decorating it so uncannily like homes in our own country.