9/11: A Remembrance Through Words


In remembrance of the events of 9/11, below is a passage from the book, Living Just A Little. At this point in the novel, the protagonist, Ellis, learned that the woman he loved was in one of the towers on that fateful day.  Scared, broken, and in need of faith, he and other members of his community were in need and sought out a sense of hope. Today, we continue to seek the same kind of hope for ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation, and the world. ~GAS



…Today, our fellow CITIZENS, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.  The victims were in airplanes or in their offices — secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers. Moms and dads. Friends and neighbors.  Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror…

The room was dark except for the blue toned light emitting from the television.  Twist shivered, her jittery hands barely holding the tumbler of vodka.  The image of the Oval Office faded away as the glass touched her lips.  This was the first time she ever sat and listened to the President.  His words pierced her eardrums although she was unable to concentrate.  She gulped down her drink and picked up the phone, dialing the hotel number Sylvania had given her.  All circuits are busy.  The message was the same.  Her only consolation was the next glass.  She prayed to a god she had abandoned long ago for all of this to be a bad dream.  The cold in her spine reminded her it was real.  She called again.  The message again.  The glass again.


            …These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.  A great people has been moved to defend a great nation…

Except for a few employees, the Bally’s Fitness Center was almost abandoned.  Hank stood in front of the monitor, chest heaving, arms aching.  For most of the President’s speech, he pounded away at the heavy bag.  It was all he could think of doing.  He wanted to talk about it but had no one.  He wanted to hold someone, this time for his comfort, but again, he knew that he had no one.  Deep down inside he was afraid but the years held emotion hostage in the recesses of his being.  He turned to say something to the attendant, but she was on the phone with a loved one of her own.  Hank was alone and could only do one thing.  He raised his fists and continued slamming them into the bag.  Punch after punch after punch after punch after…


            …Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could…

The door to Mrs. Lee’s home opened slowly.  The face of the Grand Empressio peeked into the room, nodding silently.  Mrs. Lee, at her dining room table, waved her in.  Mrs. Evelyn Carter-McCloud and several other Madames entered.  Each approached Mrs. Lee, offering hugs and words of encouragement.  One woman entered the kitchen to prepare coffee.  Another brought a platter of light hor d’oeuvres.  Mrs. Carter-McCloud walked to the television and muted it, as she directed the ladies to join hands.  One by one they said prayers for the country, for the victims, but mostly for the soul of Sylvania.


            …Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.  The functions of our government continue without interruption.  Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow…         

   They sat huddled beneath a Tussah silk comforter on the floor of Cary’s townhouse.  Devon sipped his tea as Cary began his second glass of mandarin ginger.  Devon’s mind wandered to the Zen calligraphy above the television.  The candles, lit and scented, sat atop bamboo coasters around the room.  Tranquility radiated, creating an oasis in a desert of confusion and fear.  Devon could sense anger rising in Cary.  Slipping his arm around Cary’s waist, Devon could feel his tension subside and their spirits becoming stronger.  This was now a world spinning out of control.  From beyond the windows of their refuge all they knew had changed but they were determined to face whatever lay before them–together.


            …Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened.  And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me…

In unison, the parishioners of Pine Street Baptist recited the Twenty-third Psalm.  Ellis and his mother sat with friends, neighbors, and strangers, seeking divine comfort from the events.  The choir provided pastoral inspiration as prayers for families, firemen, police officers, and leaders were sent up in both heartfelt thoughts and emotional shouts.  Soon Kenneth and Aunt Daliah joined Ellis and his mother in their pew, just in time for the community prayer. The minister prayed for faith and steadfastness.  His words echoed throughout the sanctuary.  Ellis’ mind was somewhere else.  He wanted to believe that Sylvania was still alive.  That she was somewhere safe.  He hoped she would have tried to contact him.  He knew that hearing her voice would ease his heart–a little more than prayer.

            None of us will ever forget this day…

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: