September 11th Epic Poem Chapter 15

The Following is chapter 15 of the September 11th Epic Poem. The rough draft was written between June 2008 and May 2010. It is 2,000 lines long and has 1,499 rhyming pairs.
 
CHAPTER FIFTEEN  (Righteous Anger) 
The war and strife for air and life
            Became a losing race,
For each one maimed who still remained
            Unconscious on his face.
As dark dispersed the rest rehearsed
            The horrors in their minds.
With actions bold they grabbed a hold
            Of victims left behind.
 
Their will unflagged these heroes dragged
            Out strangers twice their size.[16]
By giving aid they each displayed  
            The terrorists’ disguise.
For martyrdom is called by some
            The death these killers crave,
But better men than all of them
            Are those who die to save.
 
The morning sun was still quite young
            As news began to spread.
Reporters guessed at very best[17]
            Some thousands still were dead.
Around the world the airwaves filled
            With faces full of tears.
So many cried for those who died,
            While others shouted cheers.[18]
 
We looked around at zero ground
            A second time that day;
Amazed within at what had been
            Completely blown away.
Beyond this wake the world would shake
            As TV cam’ras probed.
We watched it prime in real time
            In homes around the globe.
 
Initial views that filled the news
            Were taken from the air.
They shocked our heads with coverage
            Of all that wasn’t there.
And later when the cam’ra men
            Could make it in on foot,
They’d film that charred, yet famous shard
            Protruding through the soot.
 
As anchors spoke their features broke,
            In genuine dismay.
Their voices told how young and old
            Were victims of the day.
We used to gripe because they’d hype
            Their stories without end:
But these events were so immense
            They did not need pretend.
 
For as they talked survivors walked,
            Like mummies from their tombs.
And horrors streamed through giant screens,
            Into our living rooms.
In office halls with cube-shaped walls
            The crowds began to lurk,
And no one cared that people stared
            Instead of doing work.
 
 
The janitor who scrubbed the floor
            Released his broom and mop.
The office clerk who never shirked
            Let all his deadlines drop.
The chubby necks of chief execs
            Could barely move an inch,
While eyes and ears on engineers
            Refused to even flinch. 
 
Without a word we each concurred
            In what we understood:
That this attack was aimed right at
            Our human brotherhood[19].                           
When evil’s done then ev’ry one
            Must speak for those who die:
 We all agreed this dreadful deed
            Deserved a strong reply.
 
We knew, of course, that things much worse,
            May happen year to year.
But this does not excuse one jot
            Of what we witnessed here.
We know that more would die in war,
            Or driving in their car;
But those who kill to prove their will
            Have clearly gone too far.
 
To tolerate this kind of hate
            Would be an ugly sin.
It is not wise to shut ones eyes,
            And let the bad guys win.
Of course I know it’s sensible
            To let the small things slide;
But when the crime has crossed a line,
            We dare not duck and hide.
           
Our land was built when blood was spilt
            To challenge what was wrong.
On diff’rent ground, we sometimes found,
            We could not get along.
We fought to save our brother slave,
            We fought to save ourselves:
We fought to cure a hemisphere,
            Where Hitler worked his spells.
 
 
We’ve always been the kind of kin
            Who’ve pointed the frauds.
Espec’lly when the guilty men
            Attacked our native sod.
We’ve come to know since long ago
            You can’t accept the claim,
That both the sides when two collide
            Are equally to blame.  
 
Our wish for peace should not decrease
            Our willingness to fight.
We never know which secret foe
            May have us in their sights.
We hope and pray each dawning day
            For peace at least for now;
But plan, so when, we fight again,
            We’ll still remember how.
 
 
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