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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

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 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


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

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