September 11, 2003

I’m 84 Years Old

We interrupt this program about love, spirituality, and sex to bring momentous news of a singularly important event.

It’s my birthday!

Ruth had a party for me at Orchard Hill Farm last night. My sons Abe and Joe were there with their wives. My grandson, Zac was there - home from New York University - with his girlfriend, Susan - I think. I lose track. Zac is working on his Masters degree in Theater Arts. My grand daughter, Rebecca, named after her grand mother was there with her husband, Steven, and their children, Kayla and Steven Jr. I love Kay - I refuse to call her Kayla - but where did that name come from? She is gay with the cutest giggle of any child in the world. Steven Jr. is quiet and introspective, too much so for a little boy of eleven years. Steven Jr. and Kay were with me two years ago on my birthday, and we watched the terrorist attack on television. Both their mother and grand mother wanted me to turn the TV off, but I refused. What’s worse, watching it live, or played back 200 times, or if totally protected, just hearing about it from friends and “others?”

Because it’s my birthday, and because that horrible, world shaking event since tagged “9-11” took place on my 82nd birthday, I’m including the poem, “My Stand.” I used it in my journal back in July of this year, but it can stand repetition, I think. It was sparked by a poem “The Stand” e-mailed to me by a friend. I have “The Stand” stashed somewhere, but can’t find it. I was incredibly angry when I read the poem, because, and I am paraphrasing, it said that anyone who was against the war in Iraq - and I still am - was not a patriot.

That war was, and is, a foolish adventure waged by a foolish president (who was not elected to be president) who risked repeating history. I say that “Duh-buh-yah” risked repeating history because Vietnam, and the Spanish Armada should have given both he and his cabinet great pause. The American people were fooled into going along with this misadventure, and for that, we must each take responsibility. We are all responsible, even those of us who did not agree, because we did not shout our opposition from the roof tops. It was and still is politically incorrect to voice such an opinion. So what! The war on Iraq was morally wrong. It stands in contrast to everything we say we believe in; God, peace, and freedom. We destroyed a nation and killed many women and children in the process. Our own children are dying in Iraq.

God, and only God knows what the result of this travesty will be.

My Stand

Isaac Stolzfuts

I was born on September 11, 1919.
I was with my great grand children
On September 11th, 2001,
My 82nd birthday.
We celebrated by playing together.
Drawing pictures, they told me what they saw;
The farm, our orchard, friends at school,
Their Mom and Dad.

Black space...

The TV’s white-noise-background
Suddenly startorian to my mind
Though the anchor man’s voice
Even and measured announced
Pulled us away
And, no longer laughing at play,
We watched "live" as thousands died.
It felt as though we were there
Engulfed in that ebon cloud of dust,
The taste of death in our mouths.

Rebecca (named after her Grandma)
Cried, “That’s just a movie, Grandpa,
Right?” And Abe Junior said,
"Where are all the super heroes?
When we need-um!"
Well, the super heroes are in Iraq today,
Fighting for what they believe.
I pray for their safety even as
Mr. Bush says, “ I pray for peace.”

I was born on September 11, 1919,
At the end of WW1 and the flue epidemic.
A Surreal world of horror
Was born on September 11, 2001.
Flowers and fireworks opposed to cinders and soot.
A world in which the lost lives of Iraq's
Women and children are not counted.
A world in which stolen artifacts
Testament to the beginning of civilization
Are casualties to Imperialist ambition.
A world in which a 21st century crusade has begun.

I do not believe in this war.
I do not believe in the "New American Century."

I do believe in a United States that stands for peace and trust.
I do believe in a United States that leads the world by example.
I do believe in a United States that bequeaths to the world
A vision of democracy and freedom.

Each American in Iraq is a hero and a patriot.
Each American who states his or her opinion
Opposing this war is also a hero and a patriot.

Dissent is one of the freedoms we believe in!
Would you have 225 years of national endeavor destroyed?
Do not call me anti-American.
Do not tell me that I did not suffer on September 11.
Do not tell me that I am not a patriot.

I was born on September 11, 1919.
My life always circled around Nine Eleven.
By birthright I am Nine Eleven.
I am a child of Nine Eleven.
I am freedom.
And, like Whitman I am part of you
And all of you are a part of me.
I am American.
I don't believe in this war of American conquest, and
I am a 21st century American patriot!

Remember Them the Way They Used To Be

E-mail me at
Visit my homepage at AOL Hometown


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