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September 11, 2001

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Posted: Friday, September 9, 2011 2:10 pm | Updated: 10:08 am, Sat Sep 10, 2011.

One nation—woven of a firm warp

and an infinitely varied weft

the threads of society creating

a cloak of warmth and beauty

which at once shelters and allows

freedom on movement, a garment to live in

until on a shattered morning of knives

of smoke and thunder

the fabric is torn    with a great and searing pain

The gathering of threads begins:

A man will not leave the side of a disabled friend,

A death for love nobler than a death for hate.

A chaplin falls while giving last rites to a fallen firefighter,

A death for love more godly than a death for hate. ...

Blood has been taken, but thousands live up to give.

Rivalries are set aside and hands joined agaist the rend.

A baby is born to a father who fell from the sky,

A gift of love that will continue a ruptured thread.

The cloak was woven on a loom built strong and true

of old growth timber and tempered steel.

The threads were spun of wondrous fiber from every shore

The humble and the exotic mingled their strength and beauty.

The cloak was woven with care, with sweat, with patience,

with passion, and with prayer.

The repair will not be invisible. For there can be no forgetting.

it will be done is red, white, and blue, silver-flecked with tears,

gold-flecked with faith and hope.

To some the splices will constitute a patch,

a scar which speaks of tearing;

others will see a badge for heroes.

We are gathering the threads.

The cloak will be whole again

and worn perhaps less casually,

knowing the sharpness of the brambles,

knowing of what the threads are spun

and the virtues in its weaving.

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