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From: Jim Kirsner
Sent to New York Metro: 9/27/01

I am a New Yorker, currently living in Kansas City... written from the pain of the 9/11/01 attack... "Rescue Tools" is dedicated to my very good friend, a N.Y.City Firefighter, who was lost.

"Rescue Tools"

With a TV
and VCR
set to
slow motion-rewind
I made
the smoke
and fire
window frames
twisted steel

I undid that
day watched
the two-times
one at a time
lift off
so many people
and my friend
for a second
or two
got time
to say goodbye.



From: Jonelle Hawkins
Sent to New York Metro: 9/24/01

Excerpt from Ms. Hawkins' 72-hour account after the World Trade Center Attack...

Friday, September 14th, 2001 8 am: I still can't sleep. Tomorrow I'll try a sleeping pill. I turn on the TV to hear a newscaster commenting on how generous New York City has been. A firefighter is being interviewed and he's saying the generosity and support of New Yorkers is the only thing keeping him going since they haven't found a survivor in two days. Someone else is saying how surprising it is that they've had so many donations.

I realize that this is the only piece of news that hasn't shocked me this week. I am not surprised to hear how wonderful and supportive New Yorkers have been, because I've seen that generosity and caring. If there's one thing we have in New York its passion. We are passionate about our city and we love our way of life. We live here for our way of life and we're not going to let anyone take it away.




From: Joanna Lilly
Sent to New York Metro: 9/24/01

As a nation, we are all so devastated... and we all grieve so for those who actually lost loved ones... It absolutely breaks my heart to know how many thousands are so shattered by our tragedy, and their homes and lives are now so empty... they have to carry on, caring for children, going through all the motions we all go through, but having lost their beloved life partners... Words cannot express my sorrow, so I hope this will help them remember those lost, as they were... alive; loving; working; providing... with all their strengths and gentleness... not as they have seen them on television since that terrible day...

"Guardian of the Night"

Dedicated to the Firefighters, Military, Police, and Rescue Workers Lost in the World Trade Center / Pentagon Assault

September 11, 2001

You stand and guard my sheltered world
Like a watchful soldier in the night.
Protecting me from danger, pain, and grief,
Ever vigilant to forestall any
Who may cause me harm or fright.

Strength, honor, and passion are your mantle,
Your uniform covers the warmth within;
The tender, loving, gentle touch
That to all opponents appears fierce and grim,
This touch to me is as necessary as my breath.

Obstacles and hindrances, like the enemy they are,
Overcome at last – and we are one, for all eternity.
Trust is newly wrought; our lives and hearts devoted; entwined.
My love! My brave veteran of war, my tranquil, beautiful one,
Risking life for liberty, facing peril with every rising sun
You offer yourself fearlessly to rescue; to serve; to give; to protect.

My soldier, my warrior; my lover, my friend,
I love you with a depth of feeling words cannot describe.
I lay my life within those strong, calloused hands,
Hands that combat weapons wield in times of war,
And trusting, close my eyes to sleep in peace.

Peace! Within your solemn gaze I have found peace,
My guardian of the night who keeps me safe,
Held fast with loving arms, strong hands that so gently touch my face,
This tie, this bond of love that brings no bind or chafe,
Only peace, serenity, and joy in your ardent words and deeds.

You stand and guard my sheltered world
Like a watchful soldier in the night.
My sentinel who knows and meets my every need
I lay my life within those strong, calloused hands,
And trusting, close my eyes to sleep in peace.

God Bless You All… and All Those Who Love You

Joanna L. Lilly
Tallahassee, Florida


More letters: "I can't stop screaming."

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