Poetry: The Twin Lights of September

“The Twin Lights of September” – J. Adam Snyder

(Dedicated to the victims of September 11th, Afghanistan, and the Iraq war)

Early September morning painted in misery
New York burning from the act of religious zealotry
The image of beings leaping to their death
Forever haunts my mind when I first viewed it on my TV set

Smoke strangled across the city streets
As firefighters and volunteers tried to save what they could not see
Screaming and darkness is all that remained
As time stood still on that dreadful September day

I arrived at school and had just started sixth grade
When my sorry excuse of a teacher, Mrs. Hagan made us do work like it would make it all go away
While every other teacher and every other class
Were busy discussing how to raise money to help those hurting in mass

“Osama Bin-Laden,” the man on CNN exclaimed
Was the one responsible for the tragedy that day
A name that would be used soon to justify judging Muslims
Just as the word “terrorist” would be used to justify unconstitutional surveillance

Chinese-made American flags flying from every home
Playing military recruitment country songs on the radio
Yet before the cries and before the towering falls
Nobody seemed to be patriotic at all

President Bush soon arrived back on the scene
Talking about how we were going to Iraq to protect our liberty
“Saddam Hussein” was the new face in the spotlight
And Bin-Laden seemed to have disappeared from the media almost overnight


“Iraq,” they said, “had WMDs”
Yet a little research showed that the US Government gave Iraq those weapons illegally
The CIA had placed the tyrant Hussein in power
In agreement to go to war with Iran to expand US political power

This was not the first time the Government had committed such a conspiracy
The Reagan administration trained Bin-Laden to fight Communism in the 1980’s
Russian hospitals and agencies exploded for the next decade
The wickedness of our Government and Bin-Laden both deserve to be subjugated to the same public shame

The tears of weeping mothers and wives flooded the land
As the caskets of their sons and husbands filled the graves in mass
Guantanamo bay on Cuban soil
Torture replacing human rights in the name of patriotic spoils

The Years went by and Americans started questioning
Why we were in Iraq and were the lives worth sacrificing
What were we sending people to die for
While Bin-Laden was still running around free in the world

In 2008 my class was graduating
Into an economy that had no employment opportunity
One-by-one families lost their homes
As the Government played a golden fiddle to Wall Street against the burning backdrop of Rome

A new election was taking place
And Barack Obama had won the race
Pulling out of Iraq
To focus on finally capturing the terrorists who committed that vile September act

Osama Bin-Laden was later found
Shot and killed, America was proud
Justice had been done and the conflict was over
Or so we thought until ISIS rose up and took the spotlight over

Now in New York two lights pierce the moonlit sky
Showing where the Twin Towers once stood with pride
The pain of the lives lost is beyond fathom
Yet the strength of Americans is never abandoned

Once a year in September people decide to remember and decide to be aware
They briefly change their profile picture to a flag and write a short patriotic post to show they care
While the rest of the year they act oblivious to those still affected
Such as the returning soldiers with PTSD and the ground-zero workers with asthma

Football and “reality” TV
Seems to be a greater priority
Worshipping wealth and celebrating fame
Like the Israelites in the desert bowing down to the golden calf in vain

Everyday we must stand united
With Christian, Muslim, Jew, Atheist, Gay, Straight, Black, White, Republican, and Democrat, there is no strength in being divided
Once a year is not enough
For us to remember the suffering of our neighbor who needs our love

© – J. Adam Snyder

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