Category Archives: History

September 11, 2019

I wrote the text below on the one year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. I re-read this every year, and today, its message rings so true… “at a time in our history where the world is truly small, we can no longer allow our self appointed interests and egos to drive our actions within this world community“… Please read. God bless us all.

September 11, 2002

In reflection of all that has come to pass, and with hope in all that can potentially be, I have slowed my world down today, to observe. I have witnessed emotions’ range and have felt the deepest sincerity in all that I have taken part in. For me, this one-year milestone, of the tragedies of September 11 2001, has left me with a longing that I must share.

This morning’s sunrise was quite profound. As I sipped my coffee, looking eastward out of my breakfast nook’s window, I was greeted with a broken sky and the rosy edged clouds from last night’s rain. Gray and gentle giants stretching toward the eastern horizon, gently kissed by the dawning sun. The sky held the deepest blue and set my view in a very powerful background, providing a triumphant and yet foreboding setting for the red, white and blue of the morning. My mood seemed to match, as I felt reassured by our nation’s collective resolve exhibited over the past year, and yet I felt apprehensive in the light of on-going struggle. As I sat in silent reflection, the words of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address played through my mind. “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” I sat mesmerized.

My radio was on in the background, and as if called by my own will, New York’s Governor Pataki initiated the memorial service at ground zero with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The clouds outside my window seemed to change their color in response to his words, providing a balance of gray and white, while the sky’s deep blue lightened a shade, yielding a canvas for hope.

Moments later, former Mayor Giuliani began reading the names of the victims of the attack on the world trade center towers. Gordon McCannel Aamoth Jr., Edelmiro (Ed) Abad, Maria Rose Abad, Andrew Anthony Abate, Vincent Abate, Laurence Abel, William F. Abrahamson, Richard Anthony Aceto, Heinrich B. Ackermann, … The victim’s faces, those I could recall from the web pages I perused last year, began to drift through my mind’s eye. The tears began to come and I began to realize how much we have lost. Lost lives, broken families, and lost loves. As a nation, we are different now. We have realized, most likely for the first time that we are not an island of security. That our financial and military power is not what differentiates us, but that which makes us unique, and subsequently, that which poises us as a target of such acts of terrorism. I also realized that we have gained. For through our learnings of such experience, we have found a new resolve that echoes old values, such as those our very nation was founded on. And in such, we have gained temperate understanding of just how precious this life truly is, and how diverse and distressed our world society has become. In this, I believe, we can proudly say that we stand alone among our allies and enemies, for our nation exhibits a worldly sampling of all nations, all cultures, and all beliefs. Our lives and values are based in true freedom, founded in trust and honesty, and are exhibited through peace and compassion. And in such, we extend a greater love through our exhibition of this understanding. This diversity is of our design, driven by our desire, and forms the very mettle that identifies Americans as people of natural determination and resolve.

And yet, we are a delicately contrary people. For as we stand upon the virtue of such great values, we allow our gains and successes to wrap us in what we perceive to be our own personal, impervious lives. In times when our successes are at their greatest, and our challenges small, we exhibit an almost ignorant selfishness. We ignore our neighbors, we throw frustration upon our fellow citizens in traffic, and we seem to migrate to a gluttony of extremes. Our drive is focused upon financial growth, more service, less cost, and a need for exponential improvement. I believe that our behavior, associated with such perceived successes, is the very element that fuels the hatred of those we call our enemies today. Ironically, it is this same behavior that was once perceived to be the enemy of our nation’s founding fathers, and to that point, that which has brought us to this day of memorial. How ironic.

The radio’s reading of the names of the lost was only interrupted long enough for other memorials to begin, or for moments of silence to be observed at the very minute, one year ago, when the trade center towers collapsed. Three very distinct and individual memorials, New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville Pennsylvania, yet all rang with names of victims, lost lives, lost loves, and broken families. Tragedies beyond belief. Through the constant of remembering, through the tears and tightened throat of reliving the pain and horror, I made my way to a place in my town where Mozart’s Requiem would be played as part of a rolling national endeavor to promote healing and remembrance.

The daylight moved to deeper tones of color. The low hanging clouds grew gray, yet the daylight beyond became brighter and more brilliant with blue. Even a few little spits of drizzle managed to mix in. All seeming to reflect my mood, and hopefully the moods of others. Others who, like myself, were needing to reconnect, acknowledge the pain and loss, and take from that, some magic and secret element to fuel understanding for the world we now live in.

As I parked my truck and began to draw the will to move myself into the heart of the day’s sorrow, I found that I could not extinguish the sounds of the radio, still reading the names of the more than 3000 individuals who lost their lives that day. It seemed like an eternity had passed, yet the alphabetical reading was only in the “C’s”. Jose Cardona, Dennis M Carey, Edward Carlino, Michael Scott Carlo, David G. Carlone, Rosemarie C. Carlson, Mark Stephen Carney, Joyce Ann Carpeneto, Jeremy M. Carrington… Somehow, I managed the resolve to wipe away the tears, and moved myself from the truck and toward the theatre where many of my fellow citizen’s hearts would hopefully throng, along with the music, and mine.

I found a seat near the back, which was elevated, and provided a large view of the theatre. I sat alone while the hall slowly filled to near capacity. Many of the faces that began to sit around me were solemn, sorrowful. Yet so many others were taking this performance as if it were an event of opportunity. Around me, through voices overheard, were people frustrated with the remaining seat selection, people with agendas that were driven away from their busy lives. I heard comments complaining about the reading of the names during the memorial services in New York City, comments spoken in frustration that television news coverage had forced them to endure such monotony and such a waste of time. I found myself shocked that such selfish and cold comments could be made at a time when human compassion and understanding should naturally prevail. Only few around me seemed to be here to mourn, or reflect. My witnessing of such brought on a great sadness that we, as collective survivors, do not cherish what we have learned, and what we have lost of life and love, through today’s echoing pain.

As the lights dimmed and the music began, I recognized the seed of a longing that only then, I realized was growing inside of me. I realized that in the moments of the greatest tragedy ever encountered on our nation’s soil, was contained the truest and most sincere outpouring of human compassion and love. For it is the desperation associated with great tragedy or great need that drives us to acts of heroism, kindness, and sacrifice. It is this great human capability that I long for in my daily life, and the true reason that I came here today, to find it, and to claim it. Not to account for and own for myself, but to capture and echo as a prayer for all mankind to recognize and hold on to these values as operators in our daily lives. As people of any society or congregation, we truly long to embody these virtues in our own behavior, yet we distort our understanding of our own desires by way of our societal driven needs, perceptions, and the manner by which we market ourselves to ourselves.

As the greatest national power on the globe, and at a time in our history where the world is truly small, we can no longer allow our self appointed interests and egos to drive our actions within this world community. Our nation was founded from the phoenix of past tyranny and societal selfishness, and now, again, we tender that same negative inertia and believe that it is good. For the greatest thing we have gained as a result of the September 11 attacks, is that we are now placed center stage and in a position to truly show the mettle of our collective soul. Our worldly place today, whether we accept it or not, provides us with the greatest opportunity for leadership that any nation has ever been afforded. As such, our true calling is to act in the manner of behavior that provided foundation for our nation, molded our value system, and provided our compassionate acceptance of this world. In the name of all past tragedies, moments of great desperation and heroism, we must hold on to and exhibit these values in our every day lives. We must embrace and exhibit this deepest compassion, love and understanding if we truly desire to lead our global society beyond these days of malice and hatred. For the fabric of our very existence is now openly exposed, and calling for our own regeneration, urging our success and evolution. Without which, well, here we will be again, regretting past tragedy, memorializing our loss, and praying for a future peace, as nothing more than mere children of histories’ repetition.

J. Blue September 11, 2002

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Liberty’s Lament

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

liberty back

I stand alone agape in horror, my heart beat racing as voices o’er the sea and land decry in throes, “Liar! Temptress!” sustained echoes that bend their eyes upon my stead, recounting words I’ve loved and said, “Give me your tired, your poor, your tost”, meant in truth but somehow lost.

immigrants

Their eyes on me in deep mistrust, regardless of these words in rust, as families weep and children cry, my God, compassion, somehow denied. I feel their struggles’ burdened weight. I know their pains but not their fate. I sense their road, their oppressive trail. I long to save their lost, their frail.

But something’s wrong, some truth’s misplaced, their hopes are dashed upon my gate. Their jeers come forth, their hopes are lost, as here they find again they’re tossed at threshold of the golden door, as burgeoned hopes fall flat once more, as children weep and mothers cry, my heart’s compassion cast as lie!

My God! Why???

I stand in hope that good prevail, that men of courage will rise to tell the story of our history in terms of truth and liberty. I pray our strength in spirit grows against our selfish interests’ blows, and welcomes to our golden door, the burdened hopeful, the tired and poor.

In every ounce of who we are, in every grain of soul collective, we stand united states as one, as through our history we’re reflective images of those suffering now, for we were they with hopes in how our lives could gain a freedom’s breath. We sacrificed through life and death, became collective, many, one, that through our love and faith we’ve summed the vey best in all of us. We fought oppression, we fought the lust, we stood for truth and knew what must be done to keep a free man free, to stand against the tyranny. We wear compassion on our sleeve, yet stand with strength in values, these, that all men are created equal, we’re born with God’s unalienable rights, our truths are life and liberty, pursuing happiness in our sight.

For not a single one of us can in truth claim or deny that we are something different, that we claim solely, that we’re the “high”. We, collective brethren, who, traversed the sea to come here, true, to wear our values, born in creed, to live an honest life in deed, to show the past our strength is summed in compassion, love, for all bar none, have built this shining star of hope, where others come to work and cope, to use their values truest song, building unity and history long. We are the products of immigrants, we the children of other lands, have come to stand united, compassion dealt with strength in hand.

Liberty crying

So I weep, I mourn this time. I bleed in colors that are not mine. I beg forgiveness to those who trust, and pray our better angels must but rise to mend this broken day, and from it form collective clay to forge anew these values, ours, heal these wretched wounds of scars. I pray we come to rise above, to show compassioned strength in love.

I stand in truth as this!

liberty front

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

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The Inexplicable Story

As recalled by Geoffrey Chaucer while traveling with the Queen

“Hold fast the lantern Beauregard, her lifted skirt sees light of day!”,
while as I told the dog to sit, I looked the other way.

For all is right in Flanders when castles turn to shades of poor,
but things just got sidewayser, when once her panties hit the floor…

She grabbily garbled gobbly-gook guffawing at her silly scene,
till seeing lace around her shoes, she blushed in peach and loudly screamed!

“My dear! My God! what happened here, how did this come to be?”,
and as her crown came tumbling down I closed my eyes so not to see.

“Oh Geoffrey! Geoff! Good gracious! My! Good Heavens and a cracker stew!
It seems I’ve lost my underpants and kicked them there to you!”

I glanced in shock upon the floor and there beside my muddy boot,
laid lace and floral lingerie, lightly smeared with blackened soot.

“Dear Queen!” my broken cracking voice exclaimed in instant shock,
how could it be at 90 plus her Majesty can walk?

Let alone the giggling presence to lose her clothes in Palace Square.
I raised the panties with a stick and held them in the air.

“Oh my!”, she squealed, “Those must be mine! How will this ever do?”,
while grabbing quick the lacey stuff, and politely stepping through…

Ruffle pressing prattling, she stoically stood and raised a grin,
“If ever I come back to your city, I pray that you’ll let me in.

Good day….”

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Carousel

Carousel.PNG

Standing in a summer’s mist,
early morning heat and dew,
a carousel abandoned,
ebbing from a fairground’s stew.

Echoes of calliope,
hushed in rusting pipes,
risen by the subtle breeze,
groans in tempered gripes.

Soprano tinseled screams escape
the platform’s gentle rolling,
whispers stitched among the chants,
Gregorian and tolling.

O’er the stays of canvas frayed,
reds and blues tease gently, torn,
rounding boards ornate and wide,
tarnished crackle, sadly worn.

Leaden mirrored center blinds,
ghostly grey and steel,
stirring passing images,
tintype memories, laughter’s squeal.

Oaken massive platform stained
with seasoned mud and puddled rain,
rusting mounts of tired ponies,
saddened in their lonely pain.

Dare I not to step aboard,
as history’s watch is mercy’s keeping,
so gather witness to my soul,
for all my childhood dreams there sleeping.

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Filed under Dreams, History, Memory, Perspective, Poetry

Histories’ Fortitude

labour

Deny me not this fleeting moment, forged form pain in workday spent!
Deny me not the chance to grasp this truth in passing as it’s rent
from in the flagging husks of time where captured souls of labour fall.
Embrace my soul in words unspoken that from their pallid ashes call
the clarity of a hopeful love, the danger in the risen beam,
the tensiled courage plans to build a nation’s growing dream.

What strength imbibes these few of honor?
Who engineers each step they take?
Where do they rest their inner spirit
when all is done for finished sake?

Long past have these ennobled men graced our living spirits’ truth!
Their iron will and honesty, left in structures as their proof!

Photographs – United States Public Domain

Prompt from dVerse Poet’s Pub (https://dversepoets.com/)  17-Jan-2017
Write in consideration of an artisan or wright, for example a weaver, thatcher, wheelwright or carpenter. I was drawn to these old images of the brave men who built so many of the engineering feats of the world.

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Filed under History, Perspective, Poetry, Universal Soul

Histories’ Fortitude

labour

Deny me not this fleeting moment, forged form pain in workday spent!
Deny me not the chance to grasp this truth in passing as it’s rent from in the flagging husks of time where captured souls of labour fall.
Embrace my soul in words unspoken that from their pallid ashes call the clarity of a hopeful love,
the danger in the risen beam,
the tensiled courage plans to build a nation’s growing dream.

What strength imbibes these few of honor?
Who engineers each step they take?
Where do they rest their inner spirit when all is done for finished sake?

Long past have these ennobled men graced our living spirits’ truth!
Their iron will and honesty, left in structures as their proof!

Photographs – United States Public Domain

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Filed under History, Perspective, Poetry, Universal Soul

The Old Road

Ragged edge of road, framed in fray and grasses gold. Held in drunken course by bits of broken stays from fences split. Gathered there, around each post, lays lagging wind and moonlight’s ghost.

She wanders o’er the silent lea disturbed to find her way, where once she knew an arrowed path between the barn and forest’s lath, now stumbles towards the wood, in sway.

A silvered grey and fallen barn counts her steps in jest, laughs in hollow whispered grins then slowly slips back off to rest. Ravens perch upon a plow whose earth has frozen still its lust, captured in an eon’s tuft of grasses tall and tawny rust. They bob in exultation, guffaw in crow-ish song, as crossing o’er the rock filled stream she lifts her skirts and tip-toes on. She stumbles through the slope of hill where years before she scarred her spine, exposing what was laid beneath, now blushing from another time.

Before her stands the vacant wood where once she loved to play, wherein she loved the lack of sound, echoed in old memory found, and subtle longing just to stay.

She trips across the ashen timber, fallen fast asleep, brushes back her silver hair and enters to the cold wood’s keep. She scarcely knows her destination among the ruins thick and grey, but being more than child here, starts and stops and weaves her way toward what she knows is waiting, toward where the day so calmly ends, yet caught in hesitation, denies her fear and wanders thin. Upon the wooded knoll she finds the memory of much kinder times, where snow once graced her lengthened dress and teased her with its hushing rhymes.

Pausing there in sad recall, she hears the river’s gentle hush, dreams an ancient dream of youth when eagerly she gladly rush toward the gallant sparkles cast upon the water’s play, come to meet the boats there, and wade in just a way.

She staggers o’er the broken stones, between reposing trees, lifts her skirts at water’s edge and steps in to her knees. All the diamonds in the world are cast upon the aged stream, conjured by the sun and wind, lay sparkling in a dream. She calmly lets her aging go, reaching toward the distant shore, wanders in, gently laughing, until she is no more.

Upon the ragged edge of road, kept to course by ancient posts, a gently whispered dirge is sung by lagging winds and moonlight’s ghosts.

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Filed under Dreams, History, Memory, Nature, Perspective, Poetry, Universal Soul