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Joyce L. Rapier

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   Recent stories by Joyce L. Rapier
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Salute to the Heroes of September 11, 2001
By Joyce L. Rapier
Sunday, February 05, 2006

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Without our heroes, what do we have?

Copyright 2004. all rights reserved.


     Preying upon the mind, captivating experiences hover in awe struck visions. Terrifying drama played out in grandiose exposure, sending chills toward a never ending abyss. A black hole engulfed the world as horrid billowing smoke filled the air. Day turned to night with viscid ashes drifting to earth encompassing once beautiful structures. It's a day no one can forget…a day of fear…a day of death.

     Pandemonium raged at an all time high, scattering souls into oblivion. One by one people ran seeking refuge from fingers lunging downward, spiraling metal towers plummeting toward the earth; as a shark exposing teeth toward prey. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from the massive explosive tonnage gouging through the atmosphere in acrid pillage.

     Engines roared, sirens blared and screams could be heard. Everywhere you looked, debris piled high as if an avalanche hurling down the mountainside expunging everything in its wake, stopped abruptly. Windows blown in shards lay everywhere, twisted metal and bricks appeared piled as tombstones. Persons exposed and in close proximity to the ravage could only surmise; survival would be futile. How could one, in continued existence, forget the tragic occurrences on September 11, 2001? Would we manage to pull ourselves out of the quagmire of hatred and create a will to succeed?

     An enormous outpouring of faith and support lingered through desperation. Activity swirled, motivating those in pain to reach out to those in need. Painful, excruciating days and months lay ahead but the American people joined as one, putting aside personal agendas to be a unified nation. Hearts became one and aid became foremost. Uniformed firefighters, policeman, soldiers and everyday citizens gave above and beyond the call of duty. Endless hours of digging through debris, countless hours of nonstop work and knowing beneath one more brick a life might be spared spurred them to continue the race…a race against time.

     Time would change the demeanor of the United States and its citizens. Air flights would cease for a point in time, leaving a gaping hole for travel. The skyline would be void of contrails; beautiful silver streams of vapor floating in mid air depicting journeys. A thunderous roar of National Guard jets would replace a quiet neighborhood's solace with security observances. Guard was in place; power at play. Life as we knew it was now on hold for against us was terror; an evil perpetrator portraying an urgent need to destroy the values we held dear…independence and freedom. All people were on sentinel, defying those whose aim was to destroy our peace and security. A simple gesture was no longer simple, it was indicative of how we viewed the world at large.

     Core values began to disintegrate, replaced with innuendoes against people of all races. Common courtesies marred with hidden incentives would rear its repulsive head in communication; void of objectivity. People of all ages, old and young alike, envisioned the United States being trampled by terrorists, slithering among us waiting to devour essence of life. It was a common occurrence—an occurrence of morbid fear as it tore away our unified soil. Questions were raised but no valid answers allayed or pacified our curiosities. Were we to blame for lackadaisical attitudes? How would we, as American citizens pull out of the grip of our own fear?

     Fear is nothing more than a shadow—a shadow of the unknown, a harbinger of darkness stalking us by mere motivation—until we alter the pattern. Subjecting ourselves to live in mortal fear would be erased. Proudly, holding our heads high, knowing we could overcome the audacity of being held hostage; the American Flag was our salvation. A simple red stripe indicating hardiness and valor, white stripe denoting purity and innocence, and blue stripe hailing vigilance stitched into cotton or nylon material emblazoned with glorious powerful stars, engulfed us into the force behind greatness and the will to overcome. Displayed with honor, our American Flag instilled every man, woman and child to connect with our heritage. American Flags of all sizes; lapel pins, automobile aerial and Garrison embraced us. Our flag…our national flag…Old Glory was the power behind our unification.

     Feeling the warmth as Old Glory waved her might, sometimes half-mast in honor and memory, proved character and determination was our greatest feat. Her beauty, fortification and gusto rallied within us. In an unparalleled proportion, to announce to the world the United States would not be sullied by terrorist misfits, we once again regained our dignity. This was our soil, the terra firma of a great country.

     Transformation in spirit restored our ability to conquer and conquer we did, in more ways than one! Working together to rebuild a solid foundation our morale soared to heights unshakeable. No longer did we hover in fear of terrorist threats, but defied a lesser power to sway our national courage. Airlines took their realm in the sky, tourists alerted security when necessary, children played as children should, smiles returned in kind, and we, the American society as a whole, would determine the outcome of our nation.

     The Twin Towers will never be replaced; lost lives won't return. Terrorism will continue to play out in avenues unbecoming to society as is seen in everyday activity. News accounts will blaze airwaves in rerun proportions to satisfy our glut for on the spot journalism.

     The past is the future—without it we have no goal in life, no forward steps to take. We learn from mistakes and how to handle those coming our way. Hindsight may be twenty-twenty but the broad scope of living can only be accomplished when we can see the whole picture without blinders. Until we can understand utopia, the world will continue as is without resolve.

     Nothing will bring back or erase the events of the 9-11 tragedy. We can only maintain the memory, in the scrapbook of life, in honor of those heroes who gave their lives to empower the rest of us to move forward. Salute to the heroes!    









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Reviewed by Joseph Manzo 10/8/2007
Your writing relives the day. God Bless!
Reviewed by Robert Amoroso 3/2/2007
Joyce, dear friend and colleague, you brought me to tears, with this incredible piece, as a New Yorker, I’ll never forget the horror of that day, it’s forever etched in my mind and there will always be a sadness when I pass that hollowed ground…you’ve captured a moment in time, it’s a powerful story, and you make me proud to be an American…well done!

Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 2/5/2006

Too many have forgotten already; your tribute reminds them to always remember. Thank you--a powerful tribute, very well penned.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

I can't forget 9/11--that's the day I received my gift for writing. One life was saved that day: mine. I have an outlet to express myself, when before, I kept everything locked behind walls of rage and bitterness.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 2/5/2006
Beautiful tribute to those who truly CAN be called heroew, those who risk their lives every day to help us in our time of need, and also the brave survivors and kin of those who died so senselssly! NEVER FORGET, and thanks for the reminder! Well done, Joyce!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your Tx. friend, Karen Lynn. :( >tears <

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