A Poem to Remember September 11

President Daniel Mark Fogel wrote and read this poem for UVM's nondenominational service marking a year since the events of September 11, 2001:

Over night the weather changes — we went to sleep under blue skies and almost tropical heat — 
we woke today in another world, gray, chill, threatening.

One year ago, we were startled out of sleep, waking abruptly to a changed world, to a sky that came down in flames, terror, and, for so many, sudden and unforeseen annihilation.
What murdered sleep that day also brought revelations whose meanings we are still turning over in our minds and hearts, still absorbing, still questioning —
How sharply and deeply hurt we all were — how we were united in dismay — how closely bound we were in grief, in empathy for those whose lives were abruptly shortened — for those who perished on the instant, for those who faced death knowingly on the upper stories, on the fateful flights, on missions of rescue climbing the doomed towers —
for all of those our fellow creatures — sisters, mothers, daughters, brothers, fathers, sons — in whose remembrance we are gathered today, whose memories are cherished now
at countless gatherings, whose loss will be engraved forever in the memory of the nation and the world — and for the living, too, who must go on, for the bereaved,
for each of us, turning over the stubborn meanings, seeking in what Adrienne Rich calls in an old poem "the wreck and not the story of the wreck/the thing itself and not the myth"
something about ourselves on which we can rest and be restored — the connectedness we felt that day, the ways in which we are bound together in remembrance and in hope,
our hope of a better world, one that is humane, equitable, safe, that holds fertile ground and fair weather for the seeds that are within us of creativity, of joy, of liberty and justice for all. — Daniel Mark Fogel