Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thank You

The past two weeks of my life have been indescribably the worst of my life that I can remember. And they are indirectly a result of this day. 9-11.

Nine years ago today two planes were flown into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and one went down in a Pennsylvania field. Hundreds of people were killed, and we still mourn them. This year I didn't have time to put together a tribute, which is something I feel extremely horrible about, but seeing the pictures of that day just makes me want to throw up.

Nine years later we are at war as a result of these attacks. The combat troops have been pulled out of Iraq, but the war still ranges in Afghanistan. I thought that I knew well enough the cost of war, having my cousin, Jimmy, fight twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan. On August 28th, 2010 I discovered I hadn't even scratched the surface of just how much the war effects me. August 28th, 2010 was the worst day of my life that I can remember. Because on this day Heaven decided that they needed my hero.

I'd like to take a minute to say thank you to each and every person who has lost their life defending our country or in the event of an enemy attack, such as 9-11. As I said in my speech at Jimmy's services, people always say that freedom isn't free, but I never imagined it could cost this much.

As an insufficient thank you - to Jim and to every other fallen hero - I'd like to share with you all a poem I wrote for Jim on September 3, 2010.

"A Heart Forever at Half-Mast"

All gave some
Some gave all.
You fell into the latter
It's not fair -
Though I guess it never is.
So much to live for
So much to die for
When does one out-weigh the other?

Where is the line drawn
Between dutiful service
And inhumane violence?
Where do we reach the point
When we say "No more"
When we agree that enough's enough
And bring you home
And we find a better way to do this?

Heroes fall
And families mourn
We carry on your legacy
And cling tight to your honor.
Is there a time
When we stop crying?
When we can speak your name without pain?
When our hearts are no longer at half-mast?

You are my hero
And so I say
Thank you
For serving
For protecting
For being brave and strong
For being my cousin.

People calling night and day
Even a Purple Heart
And we can't even be happy for you.
Yes, we all gave some,
But you gave all.

"The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten"


Corey_Parsley said...

I am so sorry to hear about you cousin. That is so terrible and I share my sincerest of sympathies with you. The poem you wrote is beautiful and so very true. This nation was blessed by God, but it seems that they eventually forgot that and began trying to bless themselves. As I say to my friends, "I would like to stay here, live my life, get married, have kids, the whole thing. But, if God chooses to either take me or come back, I won't try to stop him. I'd rather be in heaven than this place." Your cousin will be dearly missed and respected for his services. In a sense we should be happy that he no longer has to deal with the pain of this world, but dwell in the eternal bliss of God's presence.

Hanna said...


Thank you so much for your kind words. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm envious of Jim for a couple of reasons. One, of course, is that he knows our Father and knows what our eternal house looks like. Another is that he has my mom with him. They are burried close next to each other, and I'm envious of both of them for having each other. Not that I really want to stop living, but I agree with you - I definitely wouldn't stop God's plan or will.