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2001, 9/11

2001, 9/11

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2008 3:24 pm

 The Messenger. 09.18.08
Written by members of the Obion County Ministerial Association

Two thousand one, nine eleven. Five thousand plus arrive in heaven. As they pass through the gate thousands more appear in wait. 

A bearded man with stovepipe hat steps forward saying, “Let’s sit, let’s chat.” They settle down in seats of clouds, a man named Martin shouts out proud,

“I have a dream!” and once he did, the Newcomer said, “Your dream still lives.” Groups of soldiers in blue and gray, others in khaki and green then say,

“We’re from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine.” The Newcomer said, “You died not in vain.” From a man on sticks one could hear, “The only thing we have to fear…”

The Newcomers said, “We know the rest, trust us sir, we’ve passed that test. Courage doesn’t hide in caves, you can’t bury freedom in a grave.”

The Newcomers had heard this voice before, a distinct Yankee twang from Hyannisport shores. A silence fell within the mist, somehow a Newcomer knew that this

Meant time had come for her to say what was in the hearts of the 5,000-plus that day.  “Back on Earth, we wrote reports, watched our children play in sports.

“Worked our gardens, sang our songs, went to church and clipped coupons. We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought. Unlike you, great we’re not.”

The tall man in the stovepipe hat stood and said, “Don’t talk like that! Look at your country, look and see. You died for freedom, just like me.”

Then, before them all appeared a scene of rubbled streets and twisted beams. Death, destruction, smoke and dust, and people working just ’cause they must.

Hauling ash, lifting stones, knee deep in hell, but not alone. “Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman! Side by side, helping their fellow man!”

“So,” said Martin, as he watched the scene, “even from nightmares, can be born a dream.” Down below three firemen raised the colors high into ashen haze.

The soldiers above had seen it before on Iwo Jima back in ’44. The man on sticks studied everything closely, then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly:

“I see pain, I see tears, I see sorrow — but I don’t see fear.” You left behind husbands and wives, daughters and sons, and so many lives are suffering now because of this wrong. But look very closely. You’re not really gone. All of those people, even those who’ve never met you all of their lives, they’ll never forget you. 

“Don’t you see what has happened? Don’t you see what you’ve done? You’ve brought them together as one.” 

With that the man in the stovepipe hat said,

“Take my hand,” and from there he led 5,000 plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven on this day, two thousand one, nine eleven.

Fred Lehmkuhl

Faith Lutheran Church

2012 East Reelfoot Ave., Union City

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