September 11, 2005

Nine Eleven Remembered
It’s my birthday and I'm 86!

Every year the night before my birthday, Ruth has a dinner party for me at Orchard Hill Farm. We put away all our animosity on September 10 each year. Last night, as in the past, my sons Abe and Joe were there with their wives. My grandson, Zack was there - home from New York University - with his new girlfriend, Ellen - I think. I loose track. Zack will finish his Masters degree in Theater Arts this semester. My granddaughter, 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 anyway? 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 four years ago on my birthday, and we watched the terrorist attack on television. Both their mother and grandmother 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?” I’ve watched the vision of crashing cement, steel, glass, dust smoke, and fleeing terror stricken people at least ten times during the past week. It still sickens me. However, it bares watching in order to solidify our resolve to protect one another from international terrorism through education, equitable distribution of the world's wealth, and a crash program to create a world reliant on alternative energy sources, instead of oil.

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’ve repeated it three times now on9/11/04, 9/1103 and 9/11/02 , 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 at least the first time around, who has since been reelected by an equally foolish American people, all of whom have risked repeating history. I say that “We, the people” and our foolish president have risked repeating history because Vietnam, and the Spanish Armada should have given all of us 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 rooftops. Because of this misadventure, today the nation is poised on the brink of political and economic disaster. It was and still is politically incorrect to voice such ideas. 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 thousands of 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 grandchildren
On September 11th, 2001,
My eighty-second 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 stentorian 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 claims to pray for peace.

I was born on September 11, 1919,
At the end of WW One and the flue epidemic.
A Surreal world of horror both then and in 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 GOOD 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.”
I am a child of “Nine Eleven.”
By birthright I am “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

Saro & Luca Di Bartolo Photography


*Rodric M. Rabbah,"Lost But Never Forgotten". "" viewed Sunday, September 11, 2005, 10:40 AM EDT. (09/17/05- Upon contacting Mr. Rabbah, he states that he obtained the images from various undocumented internet sources.)

Don't Forget Victims of Katrina!

As stated before, I am personally donating money to the American Friends Service Committee for relief along the Gulf Coast. The Quakers are much more likely to do good things for the unfortunate people of the region than anyone I can think of, and they will not proselytize while doing so.

Please E-mail me at
with comments. I do so like to have the opportunity to communicate with readers.

Vsit my homepage at AOL Hometown.


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