It seems to me that today is not the day for a funny, chatty little blog post.

Today is a day to remember all of the people lost on 9/11/01.  It’s a day to remember the people around the world who lost their lives to terrorism before that terrible day.  It’s a day to remember all of the people, both in the international armed forces community and civilians, who lost their lives or sacrificed their health and well-being in its aftermath.

For those of us who are old enough, today is a day to remember where we were on 9/11/01. To remember how we felt – the horror, the shock, the fear. Because when we remember where we were and how we felt, we are connected to everyone who is also remembering and they are connected to us.  That connection is what makes us human.

And finally, today is a day to think about the last 10 years in our own lives. Where we’ve been.  Where we’re going. What have we, the people who did not die in the World Trade Center, accomplished?  What have we done with our gift of life?

So, it seems to me that today is a day to remember and to love, to look forward and to look back.


The Harvest Bow

by Seamus Heaney


As you plaited the harvest bow
You implicated the mellowed silence in you
In wheat that does not rust
But brightens as it tightens twist by twist
Into a knowable corona,
A throwaway love-knot of straw.

Hands that aged round ashplants and cane sticks
And lapped the spurs on a lifetime of game cocks
Harked to their gift and worked with fine intent
Until your fingers moved somnambulant:
I tell and finger it like braille,
Gleaning the unsaid off the palpable,

And if I spy into its golden loops
I see us walk between the railway slopes
Into an evening of long grass and midges,
Blue smoke straight up, old beds and ploughs in hedges,
An auction notice on an outhouse wall–
You with a harvest bow in your lapel,

Me with the fishing rod, already homesick
For the big lift of these evenings, as your stick
Whacking the tips off weeds and bushes
Beats out of time, and beats, but flushes
Nothing: that original townland
Still tongue-tied in the straw tied by your hand.

The end of art is peace
Could be the motto of this frail device
That I have pinned up on our deal dresser–
Like a drawn snare
Slipped lately by the spirit of the corn
Yet burnished by its passage, and still warm.

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