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Here are my impressions of September 11 and a song written two months later. At the time of the attack I was at the bank in Wardensville. I feared this cruel and violent attack would be an excuse for this country to engage in more violence in return and to match the hatred of our attackers. A lot of good people responded heroically and generously to the crisis. Unfortunately our government has, for the most part lived up to my fears.

Bonni McKeown, age 52

98th Floor

A Song by Bonni McKeown

September 11, 2000 and one,
I caught the subway from home on the run
Good-by to husband and daughter of four,
Rode down to Manhattan to the 98th floor.

My first cup of coffee was perking like home
The gal two doors down laughing over the phone,
Did you see that plane, it was flying so low,
Then the boss came and told us to pack up and go.

Through fire and smoke we started on down
Had 95 floors til we stepped on the ground,
I saw a man, we’d once fought over pay,
He said, grab my hand, we’ll all get home some way.

The bright light and fire exploded my brain
Rescuers clawed at the rubble in vain;
They recovered the vault in the cellar of gold
But most of our stories will never be told.

My soul flew above the Twin Towers, now gone;
I saw husband and daughter crying at home
I saw New York reeling in sad disbelief,
I saw all the states United in grief.

An angel named Mary drew near to my side,
She said, come on honey, we’ll go for a ride,
There are some people I want you to know,
Across the Atlantic on wings we did go.

My name is Brigit from Belfast in Eire
A bomb in the Troubles set my house afire;
My son, he got angry, blew a neighbor away
And they murdered him the very next day.

My name is Lin, from outside Phnom Penh,
The cruel soldiers plundered our village again,
We were helpless to make the massacre stop,
So much blood on the hands of Pol Pot.

My name is Wambui, from Rwanda I come
The Tutsi’s and Hutu’s fought in our home;
My name is Tasha, I’m from Kosovo,
They beat us and raped us, there was nowhere to go.

My name is Sarah, at Auschwitz I died,
They promised us freedom, and all of them lied
My name is Ali, on the Gaza West Bank,
They took our land, crushed me under a tank.

Dear Mother Mary, why all of this pain?
These women, my sisters, did they all die in vain?
My daughter, you are chosen, you’re showing the way
From dark greed and hatred to the bright peace of day.

So sisters and brothers, we must strive to be kind
An eye for an eye makes us nothing but blind,
Stop killing each other, stop killing the land
Keep trying to listen and you’ll understand.

September 11, 2000 and one;
I caught the subway from home on the run;
That was the day that we entered the Door
And these are some words from the 98th Floor.

Copyright by Bonni McKeown, Capon Springs, WV
November 3, 2001


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