Sunday....January 27, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 137
The Glory Of An Innocent Tear
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO--It was "Patriotic
Day" at my grandson's school. He's in kindergarten.
The school is a Catholic one in the East Village. Discipline
and education go hand in hand.
On Friday, Jan. 25,
I went with my wife and daughters to the school to watch the musical
tribute given by the children to the heroes and victims of 9-11.
They sang beautiful
songs of respect for America, and thanks to a God who loved everyone.
They also sang "I think I'll go eat worms, big fat juicy, tiny squirmy
ones..." to add humor and lightness to a performance of innocent
celebration for those who gave their lives on September 11.
in various degrees of red-white-and-blue, the children ranging from
pre-kindergarten to the sixth grade sang as a choir, in solos, and
duets delivering to the packed
room of parents, grandparents, relatives and loved ones a pouring
of affection, a salve of innocence that no one could mistake as
anything but pure.
Along the walls of the
auditorium in which the salute was given were lined hundreds of letters
and cards and drawings from children all over the country, offering their
condolences, their grief to the children of my grandson's school--some of
whom lost loved ones in the holocaust of September 11.
As the patriotic pageant opened, the
music director announced a fireman, parent of one of the children, and the
audience rose and applauded as he sat down. Following
him, in marched members of the local fire department. They had lost
many of their people on the Second Tuesday of September. They came
in with heads high, fire-fighting uniforms on, ready to rush out if called
for an emergency.
Next came the local police, men and women
who guard the community.
There were no
awards. No speeches. It was the community giving
tribute to the fallen, to the heroes, to their God.
The children sang songs honoring various religions, not just Christianity.
The children who sang were of all different races and creeds, some
with different religious beliefs than Catholicism, but still able
to attend the school, and enjoy the fruits of its educational limbs.
When the children sang America
The Beautiful, and Grand Ole Flag, my usually reserved and conservative
self cracked. Tears welled in my eyes.
It wasn't just the songs,
it was the purity and innocence of the children's delivery.
They were singing from the marrow of their beings. They
had all witnessed the horror of September 11 in their backyard--suffered
through the angst, the fears, the intimidations, the complacencies
and utter sense of helplessness of the unknown. And here they
were, singing like little angels, their Voices tickling the Sentinels
of Vigilance to life, raising their spirits above the rubble that
buried them, the smoke that choked them, the fires that scorched
their bodies but stripped their souls to the bare innocence of human
I could feel their
spirits in the room, embodied in the Voices of the children.
They were proud of the generation that had witnessed their sacrifice,
proud that their deaths had touched the children deeply, unifying
them into one body, dissolving the differences between them as tears
of sorrow are not separated by any color or race or creed.
Africans, Asians, Caucasians,
Hispanics became red, white and blue.
Their Voices rose above
any prejudices, bigotries, class or economic barriers which might
have once formed false walls between them. They were one in
courage, conviction and action.
felt my tears fall.
They were tears
for the innocent.
Tears of innocence
know no age.
To Daily Diary, Jan. 26--THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF 9-11
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