Have We Forgotten?

photo credit: Emblematic via photopin (license)
photo credit: Emblematic via photopin (license)

Today I watched livestream coverage of the 9/11 Tribute from New York City. My heart aches new each year in light of the historical aftermath of the tragic events that unfolded on this date fourteen years ago. What is in my heart, and on my mind in light of all, is better expressed for me in my default writing mode: poetry.


So today, I offer my words as a tribute for those who have lost loved ones, who still ache daily, and for us all in this Great Country…may these words bring hope, healing, encouragement or a sobering reminder if need be. May these offerings be accepted, and acceptable to you who read them today.

May God continue to bless us, because none of us are worthy, yet we all, with open hands, receive His grace.

Have We Forgotten?

by Dawn Paoletta


The squirrel darts

across the road,

dares fate, unknowingly.

Goes about the day, escaping


gathers the day’s offerings.

As we were,

as we continue to be,

we gather the days offerings-

hold them close,

for tomorrow is not promised,

nor do all squirrels survive

the ordinary day.

As we were,

as we continue to be-

A global pause,

audible gasp

heard throughout our great country-

on the morning they fell from the sky

flew into history

woke us from our slumbering safety.

Unanticipated interruption




The day our Big

became small in an instant of


marked by those who rain hate,

pour out lies, spill the blood

of innocents…

rejoicing, jeering.

As we fall back,

absorb the blow-

freedom shrinks

momentarily… while

we pause,

catch the breath-


A sea of faces drown

in ash,

we cup hand over mouth

spill tears, weep-

run to help

in our helplessness-

seek answers, remember unity as

we unite in pain;

Forgetting our small,

together becoming


finding strength as we embrace

harsh reality and one another


Yet, here now- anger, denial, lies divide-

Have we failed to remember?

Do not All Lives Matter?

That day a rainbow

of humanity

came crashing down in hot metal-

Black, White, Red, Yellow

united in dying,

targeted for that which did


Have we forgotten?

Do not All Lives Matter?

Fires rage across our land,

children fear

one another, unseen enemies

and policies unclear-

what hope have they when  we shake

our heads,

point our fingers, speak hate?

What hope have they when we

fail to model respect, humility, patience?

When all the world

becomes a stage for absurdity and

sarcasm is saluted,

bravery polluted, truth convoluted?

Have we forgotten those who

ran into incineration,

stood in the Great City

long after the dust settled

picking through

identifying the remnants

of love-

out of ashes…

a Phoenix



side by side they stood,

14 years to the day,

reading the names no longer

among us,

here now…

side by side-


clinging to the day’s offerings


not to forget,

what matters.

Have we forgotten?

Do not All Lives Matter?




Linking with dVerse for OLN. 

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is a life enthusiast who loves to juggle words, chug coffee, and journal excessively. You can find her gathering stones on the beach most mornings. She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, daughter and family pets in Narragansett, RI and shares her passion, poetry and prose @Enthusiastically, Dawn.

21 thoughts on “Have We Forgotten?

  1. Very moving, Dawn! Thank you for sharing this remembrance, in the form that you are comfortable with in sharing!! I wrote in my journal – about 5 or 6 pages worth (or more??), including prayers and other things that I found on facebook, and some of my own journaling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dawn: This expresses the heart of all who viewed the fall of the buildings in 2001. We can’t forget what happened. We NEED to remember. Thank you for sharing this deeply-thought-out poem.


  3. Dawn, i was just recommending your site to a fellow planner nut =], and was copying your URL, when I saw this. I LOVE your poem. Amazing how you and Lynn and I’m sure many found poetry a sturdy container for expression of such profound grief. I wrote a poem about 911 called “O Say Can You See America?” shortly after the disaster in September 2011. My grief was so overwhelming, I couldn’t even journal about it. Journaling on blank pages would have felt like falling into an abyss of grief. So, instead, God led me to write this poem….a smaller, more precise container–a way to express grief, but also to curtail it. I share it w/ you here, in thanksgiving for your own poetry and passionate heart.


  4. Hi Dawn, have you linked this poem with D’verse? I thought this was a very moving and heart felt write ~ I specially like:

    we gather the days offerings-

    hold them close,

    for tomorrow is not promised,
    Forgetting our small,

    together becoming


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thankfully, the link was still active and you could link this. No, I have not forgotten. Being in a tall government building that day just made it more intense and I still have not lost that fear as I am sure many others have not. This is a wonderful tribute and remembrance to those who died that day and a fitting tribute to those who helped and those who survived. God bless American, God bless us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Truly
    all colors
    all sexual
    and all nations
    and creeds of
    difference.. 911..
    for me.. the best way
    to remember is NOW
    to Love Unconditionally
    not many heard
    that message
    still.. and
    NO.. IT IS
    never given
    then.. or NOW…
    in politics AND OR
    RELIGION.. ever..:)


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