Pentagon -- a 9/11 tribute

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 11th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3hsef995/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

Patriot Day... Never Forget... 9/11. This is my tribute to the heroes and the fallen.
The link on the first line will take you to an audio recording, as Pentagon is both poem and song.

Pentagon

Pentagon with one side gone.
A highjacked plane swept a Pennsylvania field bare.
Towers torn, but heroes born
As police and fire -- man, they gave their all.

No words to say
No, not today
Don't know pain you feel
But I know mine is real

I watched parents cry
Watched their children die
Jumped to their death
Or burned instead

From the demise
See Phoenix rise
One thought yet --
Never forget.

Pentagon with one side gone.
A highjacked plane swept a Pennsylvania field bare.
Towers torn, but heroes born
My Americans -- those who gave their all.

Poem Structure

I've been asked some questions about this poem in the 12 years since I first wrote it. And there were things I wanted to show even though nobody asked.

The structure of this poem is 5 stanzas of 4 lines each, with the 5th stanza almost mirroring the first. This was to show:

The 5 sided Pentagon.
The loss of one side to the attacks. (The loss of a line per stanza; the 5th stanza being a rebuilding of the first.)
The power to rebuild the Pentagon. (Five stanzas)
The Twin Towers (in the mirrored beginning and ending stanzas).

In terms of lives lost, the attack at the towers was much more significant than the loss at the Pentagon. But my family connections were with the Pentagon. My grandfather had worked there as a military intelligence officer before retirement. My (at the time soon-to-be) brother-in-law was working there as a grant writer. I have been to DC. I loved it there, and at one point wanted to make my home there. I have never been to Pennsylvania or New York. I knew plenty of people would be able to capture the feelings of others who are New Yorkers and love New York. They would do a much better job than me, and so I will not stand in their way.

Phoenix Rise

After the attacks, a Mesa shikh was murdered for wearing a turban. Mesa is part of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area. The shooter thought he was preventing terrorism and promoting justice. But the shikh was an American, too.

A Phoenix is a mythical bird that dies and is reborn from its ashes. In the same way, terror begets terror. We mustn't lose sight of the fact that hate breeds hate and violence breeds revenge.

The last line

In the final line, I wrote "My Americans -- those who gave their all." I say this in the full knowledge that many countries were represented in the WTC and at The Pentagon and even on the planes. But the common cause of their losses was the American Dream. I certainly meant no disrespect to other countries when I called their victims of the attacks Americans. Instead, I was hoping to embrace the ideals that all peace-loving people want, and show an embracing of all who supported those ideas in the face of outrageous terrorism.

America is a land of peoples from many nations. Some reject their past to embrace being American. Others embrace their cultures and traditions. Heck -- so many people claim to be Irish for the chance to drink beer on St. Patrick's Day -- adopting someone else's traditions is not discouraged here.

I love our heroes and sheroes (with hat tip to Lee Hansen for coining that term). My world vision is for peace, and freedom from terror. If you are hurting today, for any reason, I wish you peace.

Peacemakers, Tragedies, and Hope

Today I'm sharing stories of inspirational peacemakers, tragedies, and hope. May they inspire you.

Malala
Leymah Gbowee
Gillian Chan's A Foreign Field (Book Review)
Death of Hate
Changing Nothing
Lensey Namioka
Oprah
Calling for an End to Violence in Eritrea
Boat Crash takes Lives
Amazing Stories of International Students
Jackie Robinson (a discussion of race relations)

Tags

911, 911 Anniversary, 911 Attack, America, Heroes, Pentagon, Poem, Twin Towers

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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Comments

author avatar snerfu
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Good poem, shows strong unifying character -- the need of the hour. Caliber is the ability to rise, to form again like the Phoenix. Wish you all well.

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author avatar Retired
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Beautiful, Phyl.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, Susan. Even after 13 years, it's still a work in progress and still gets to me.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
11th Sep 2014 (#)

I have a lump in my throat. Loved how you explained the structure of how it was written. Very touching.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks! If I were as good as ee cummings or George Herbert, I would create the pentagon shape as well, and then the explanation might not be needed. But though I like to consider myself an artist with words, I do mean that figuratively -- NOT literally!!

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author avatar Utah Jay
11th Sep 2014 (#)

We are flying our flag today, we will never forget and yet, I feel the worst is yet to come.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

I know what you mean; yet we must both hold on to hope for a better future. My son is 11 -- wasn't born or conceived when the towers fell. But he lives in a post 9/11 world. I hope he reaches adulthood in a more peaceful world. I know it will be a painful journey getting there, but there are lots of brave people working to make it happen.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
12th Sep 2014 (#)

fabulous piece Phyl...man again earning his just rewards...let us hope your son and his generation will make this a better place...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
12th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, dear!!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
12th Sep 2014 (#)

Beautiful tribute my dear Phyl and one of a kind poem, lets pray for a better world and s peaceful one!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
12th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks so much Fern!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
13th Sep 2014 (#)

Phyl ...a poem of profound remembrance-and passionate hope for peace...very beautiful...!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
13th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, Delicia!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th Sep 2014 (#)

Inspiring and unique, thanks Phyl. I admire your effort and skill in writing this with such feeling. The line - adopting someone else's traditions is not discouraged here - says it all about America and I wish others can also live by such lofty ideal. Sadly, many would prefer to kill innocents to please their Gods! Our Creator should be throwing up His hand in exasperation -what else can I do! siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
13th Sep 2014 (#)

I'm glad you liked that line. I was uncertain about how to explain myself, and glad my attempt was well received.

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author avatar HacBao
13th Sep 2014 (#)

I can see it, it is a disaster.

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author avatar HacBao
14th Sep 2014 (#)

It is a sad day

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
14th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, HacBao, for your comment(s).

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author avatar Kingwell
15th Sep 2014 (#)

Inspiring my friend. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
15th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, Kingwell!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Excelente tributo para aquellos inocentes quer perecieron en este dia, que Dios nuestro Senor los tenga en su reino en el jardin del Eden, no sabia que hablabas Español my estimada Phyl,salud!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Fern wrote "Excellent tribute to those innocent wanted perished on this day, the Lord our God rest his kingdom in the garden of Eden, did not know you spoke Spanish estimated Phyl, my health!"

My reply:
Oh dear Fern. My Spanish is so bad. I am using Google Translate to write this reply. I am so glad my poem spoke to your heart. Thanks for your comment.
Mi respuesta:
"Oh querida Fern. Mi español es tan malo. Estoy utilizando Google Translate para escribir esta respuesta. Estoy muy contento de mi poema habló a su corazón. Gracias por tu comentario."

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author avatar n.c.radomes
18th Sep 2014 (#)

To the heroes and fallen during the 9/11 Pentagon siege: God bless you and may your tribe increase, and to PHYL congrats for a job well-done.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
18th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, n.c. Your blessing is much appreciated for the heroes and the fallen. Peace to your house.

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