I started this series on behalf of those who have to face and surmount challenges. That means all of us! What are some of the challenges that we face today?
For some of us it is some kind of debilitating sickness. For others it is a financial crisis. Some face a sudden and devastating experience such as the loss of a loved one, or the loss of their home or other treasured personal belonging.
How do we continue after facing these losses? Many turn to a cherished hobby to get them through trying times. These include writing, gardening, reading, drawing, painting, traveling, fishing, skiing, swimming, hunting, walking, jogging, hiking, canoeing, and the list goes on and on.
Many turn to religion where they find answers to questions that perplex their minds. Such was the case of Alan Jankowski after the tragedy that faced the nation in September 2001. Alan wrote a poem that touched the hearts of many and which seems to have taken on a life of its own. He received national recognition for this poem.
I deliberately chose to make mention of his poem after the usual flurry of activity relating to the commemoration of 9-11 died down. I am always conscious of the pain that the memories stir up for many who lost their loved ones on that tragic day. Yet there are lessons that we are still learning years after the event.
This brings me to the point I want to leave us with today. Writing is a powerful tool. We can capture so much with the written word: love, despair, tragedy, pain, anger, guilt, excitement, anguish are just a few of the emotions that we experience as human beings. When these are conveyed by the written word we share something with our reader that is so tangible, so beautiful that it often evokes a response. My hope is that Alan’s poem will somehow help to ease our pain and prompt us as readers into action. As this year rapidly draws to a close, let us look forward to a new year with renewed hope and purpose.
So if you are experiencing writer’s block today, remember that the world is waiting to hear what you have to share. Your input is valuable, and like Alan, you may start a ripple that spreads far and near, ending who knows where.
We Shall Never Forget (9-11 Tribute Poem)
Let the world always remember,
That fateful day in September,
And the ones who answered duties call, Should be remembered by us all.
Who left the comfort of their home, To face perils as yet unknown,
An embodiment of goodness on a day, When men’s hearts had gone astray.
Sons and daughters like me and you,
Who never questioned what they had to do, Who by example, were a source of hope, And strength to others who could not cope.
Heroes that would not turn their back, With determination that would not crack, Who bound together in their ranks,
And asking not a word of thanks.
Men who bravely gave their lives,
Whose orphaned kids and widowed wives, Can proudly look back on their dad,
Who gave this country all they had.
Actions taken without regret, Heroisms we shall never forget,
The ones who paid the ultimate price, Let’s never forget their sacrifice.
And never forget the ones no longer here, Who fought for the freedoms we all hold dear, And may their memory never wane,
Lest their sacrifices be in vain.
Alan W. Jankowski