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11 September, 2001

The following is a poem that wrote itself in my head in the days following the attack on the World Trade Center. It isn't directly related to polar science, but September 11th has changed the world, so in that way it has affected us all. I post this here because this is my journal, and a journal can be many things. The writing of this has helped me deal with the shock and grief of the "Attack on America," and I hope my students will also use journals to express feelings. This is also a demonstration that journal writing does not always have to be in narrative form.

Heroes of the Rubble

copyright Louise Tolle Huffman

Flying dragons with heroes consumed in their bellies

Raced across American skies.

Evil manifested itself and

Plunged deep in the heart of freedom and civilization.

Images from Hell indelibly burned into our brains

As demons and diabolical plans

Crumbled buildings.

Twin symbols collapsed, rocking our very foundation

Destroying our sense of equilibrium

And our security, long since taken for granted.


Unspeakable horrors and

Darkness prevailed.

Mourning enveloped a nation...

...our minds

...our hearts

Our collective souls wept tears of sorrow.

Grieving voices cried out, "Is Evil the victor?

Has the Light forsaken us forever?"

But even as the fires smoldered

And brick and steel buckled,

Heroes of the Rubble scrambled

Mindless of the peril.

Their inner light glowing,

Visible from deep within each soul

The rays shining out to all corners of the world.

Candlelight held by hands of many colors

Sat vigil and

Encircled the globe.

The light grew,

And the sun shone brightly on Wednesday.

Hope arose with the dawn.

Out of the ashes, a flag was raised

A symbol of freedom...

Adversity becomes strength...

...Demanding peace.

Condensed version published in Best Poems and Poets of 2001

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