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9/11 Anniversary Remembrance Poem: Blue Sky Tragedy

Janis is a licensed professional counselor in Washington, DC. Areas of specialty include grief, loss, life transition, and trauma recovery.

A Pure Blue Sky

The color of a blue sky, even on a tragic day, is memorable and stunning to the naked eye.

The color of a blue sky, even on a tragic day, is memorable and stunning to the naked eye.

A Beautiful Morning on September 11th

As we commemorate the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, those directly impacted will recollect the images, the sounds, the smells, and the memories of lost loved ones. Some will recall the heroism of first responders and the sacrifices they made in their courageous but ill-fated attempts to save lives. Others will recall where they were at the time they saw the news on television, as the towers stood burning, followed by their horrific collapses onto the streets of New York City.

Recollections of that dreadful day are very different and personal to each individual's experience. I recall thinking to myself, "How could this be happening on such a bright sunny day with a clear blue sky?" It was a Tuesday morning in Washington, DC. I drove back home to safety from my job on Capitol Hill, after the Pentagon was hit. My eyes kept shifting from the road to the sky, out of the front windshield and driver side window, looking for more airplanes. It was a frightening but beautifully forecasted day with a perfectly blue sky.

Because gray clouds hang heavy with misery, blue skies seem bluer.

— Richelle E. Goodrich

"Blue Sky Tragedy"


Oh, what a beautiful morning

Sunny forecast, blue skies

No warning of tragedy coming

Like barometers do for storms


Unpredictable impending doom

In spite of sky's clarity

An eye-opening blue

Maybe a cerulean hue


Heavenly sky above

Contradicting the experience below

Death and destruction hovering

Interrupting our sense of reality


Plumes of fire and smoke

Filling a blue sky once so pure

Bright and celestial

Clear as ocean water


Waiting for another plane

A sky suspended in time

Looking at a cloudless blue

Surreal as the day itself


JLE 2021


A Pristine Image

The pristine image of the World Trade Center Twin Towers will always be remembered with the backdrop of blue skies.

The pristine image of the World Trade Center Twin Towers will always be remembered with the backdrop of blue skies.

Blue is the Color of Memories

Many thanks to fellow author, Brenda Arledge, for challenging our writing community with the word prompt "blue." She encourages us to stretch our creative minds as we incorporate the word of the week into our writing. I attempted to step outside my box of colors and recall an experience that involved a vision of blue. What a coincidence that this word prompt triggered my 9/11 memory at this time of remembrance.

I dedicate this poem article to all Americans and global friends who were touched by the tragedy and continue to struggle with painful memories and haunting images of that day. I pray for the healing of emotional and psychological wounds many victims and heroes continue to carry in their souls. I pray for the ability to re-write narratives, pulling forth the stories of saving grace, mercy and acts of heroism to sustain us going forward. May we embrace the narrative and true meaning of bright blue skies to remind us that perspective can help us get through the worst tragedies, if we step outside the box.

Overshadowed Memories

© 2021 Janis Leslie Evans

Comments

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 13, 2021:

Misbah, these are beautiful, very moving quotes. Thank you for sharing them here and leaving your comment on my piece. Thank for the prayers, love and hugs. Blessings to you, very much appreciate your visit.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on August 13, 2021:

Ms. Janis, it's beautiful, heartfelt and touching response to Brenda's Prompt. The incident of 9/11 is truly sad, almost 3,000 people lost their lives during the attacks.

Stanley Praimnath who is a survivor from 9/11 said, "I still have the shoes I wore to work that day. The soles are melted and they’re caked in ash. I keep them in a shoebox with the word “deliverance” written all around it. They’re kind of like my ark, a reminder of God’s presence and the life I owe to him."

I would further love to add a quote by Malala Yousafzai, "With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism."

May God grant Peace and strength to all the Americans and everyone who lost their loved ones. Ameen!!

Thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful piece of writing with us.

Sending Hugs and prayers.

Blessings and Love to you

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 13, 2021:

Shauna, your comment is much appreciated. I'm grateful for your descriptive critique. We were all blind-sided. I can't believe how much time has passed either. Thank you for your visit.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 13, 2021:

Janis, this article and the poem you penned is touching, heartbreaking, hopeful, and memorable. I appreciate you sharing your experience on that fateful day. You were certainly close to the situation. I don't think there's an American on this continent that thought such blatant violation would ever happen on our soil.

I can't believe it's been twenty years. That's a jaw-dropping realization.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 13, 2021:

I thank you, Brenda, for this wonderful summary and critique. It means a lot. I'm grateful to you for igniting my creative writing juices with these word prompts. It was truly a day I will never forget, triggered by the word "blue."

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 13, 2021:

Your comment warms my heart, Chrish. I'm pleased to have touched you and your family who "mourn under the sky." Sending hugging angels back to you. Thank you for your visit.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on August 13, 2021:

Prayers is highly appreciated! I thank you with all my heart, my family is one of those under the mourning sky.

I can feel your sympathy Ms Jan to the deepest level of my heart, I so love your response to the word promt of Ms Brenda.

Hope you have a wonderful days!!!

Here's my power hugs and a bunch of love!!!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 12, 2021:

Janis

In your poem introduction you show us a detailed account of the day we will never forget ~ 9/11.

You were actually in Washington D.C. working on the day it occurred.

In your poem, ""Blue Sky Tragedy" you tell us what a beautiful morning it was with an eye opening blue sky.

No warning of impending tragedy, then the heavenly sky contradicts with the destruction below it.

Nothing seems real as the plumes of smoke fill the sky.

As we wait for another plane everything seems surreal.

Then you dedicate this poem to all Americans and global friends who were touched by the tragedy and continue to struggle with painful memories and haunting images of that day.

We never know what will happen in our lives. I'm so glad you were not part of this tragedy.

I'm certain the memories will linger in your heart forever, even more so since you were close to the Pentagon.

This is a wonderful tribute and response for the word prompt, "Blue."

Our muse has a way of triggering the right memories. Yours did just that.

I will post a link in the word prompt article.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 12, 2021:

Chitrangada, so good to see you. Thank you for this very generous comment. I appreciate you sharing your insights, right on target with my intent. So glad you enjoyed it.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 12, 2021:

This is a beautiful and heartfelt response to the word prompt, Blue! I am deeply touched to read your poem, and your feelings related to the 9/11 tragedy!

Very well expressed and reminds us that pleasure and pain, all happen under this Blue sky!

Thank you for sharing!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 12, 2021:

Thanks, John. The stars lined up the way they were supposed to for me and this word prompt. Glad you liked it.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 12, 2021:

Jan, what a wonderful response to the word prompt “blue.” With the anniversary of 9/11 approaching this was perfect.

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