Hello April 23! How have you been? How about the rest of you? Good then, and here we go again.
September 11th will be remembered by every American, probably for all time. It should be, for it marks a turning point in our great land. The bravest of the brave came out that day to share their pride and love of country. They came to help each other, one another, and as the buildings fell, the flags across the land rose for the world to see.
One September morning, ten years later, my wife and I were driving into Waterville when we were held up in traffic for a parade honoring the first responders. It was a bright, sunny morning, much like the one from ten years earlier. As I sat in the passenger seat, my wife told me what she saw, and as I heard the roaring trucks and whirling sirens, I felt a rush of adrenalin unlike much of anything I had ever felt before. An emotional swell was building up inside me, and then, she leaned over to me and softly started telling me about a little boy who was standing on the corner, watching the parade. As she spoke, I could hear her throat tighten as she started to cry. Well, it wasn’t long before I was crying too. I pictured this little boy in my mind, and everything else seemed to fade away. The passion and the pride all made sense, once again. I remembered that I too was an American, and I too nearly burst with thee pride of a nation.
Three and a half years have passed since that morning of the parage. I will never forget it. I will always see that little boys face as he waved his little American flag, stared up at his father and smiled.
I wrote the following poem in memory of that day, and in memory from the morning of ten years before.
God bless America, land that I love.
Stand beside us all.
Little Fireman Boy
He stood on the corner, so small, yet so tall
As the trucks rolled through, one by one
Air horns were blaring, as sirens screamed
Under the September morning sun
We sat there and watched, the misses and I
As the fireman’s parade rolled on through
This young lad dressed in full fireman’s gear
Stood tall as the sirens blew
With his helmet and mask and his oxygen tank
He stood proud as the parade passed on by
Standing tall in his boots that he filled up so well
As the roar of a jet filled the sky
He waved at the trucks that passed by him that morn
While the sirens continued to blow
Just seeing him there in that coat and those pants
Made my passion and pride start to grow
The honor he showed as he stood in his suit
Made me swell up way deep down inside
As I remembered that morning from ten years before
I reflected, and paused, and then cried
Never before had it all seemed so clear
Or so simple and proper and pure
This young boy standing so small and so tall
Was the hope, and the faith, and the cure
As the last truck went by, he looked up at his dad
His face filled with smiles and such joy
He had captured my heart and tugged at my soul
This brave little fireman boy.