A principle was attacked amidst
tears and destruction; a surreal snapshot
of a day worth forgetting. But no one did.
How do you forget the sight; the sound?
How do you forget the faces; the screams?
How do you diminish the sacrifice?
The word ‘impossible’ was tailor made
for this moment in time. Despair and
disbelief would be usurped by anger
and determination to not allow those who
put it all on the line, go quietly into that good night.
It became a fight to rise each day to face
the insurmountable task one brick at a time.
As many bricks as there were tears shed.
As many shards of glass as there were screams
of torment and terror. But the greatest error
made by a faceless ideology was assuming
we were broken and defeated. But the foresight
of three brothers of the fraternity most depleted
showed we were not defeated. Through the rubble
it stood in defiance. A naked flagpole planted
among the girders and debris. A symbol; our banner
raised high. A declaration loud and clear.
We are still here. We will not go gently.
Together we stand, a shield for liberty.
You took your shot and failed. An American Tale…
and the flag was still there! America had been blessed

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




There were five sides to every story,
in a place where glory was the prize earned
through valiant effort and selfless sacrifice.
It would have been nice to face your attackers,
but cowardly slackers destined to fail their main mission
sat in a position to cause as much damage as they could.
Would they have succeeded, we would have pleaded
for mercy. But we don’t play that way. The heroes
in New York and Pennsylvania had back-up
in the Nation’s capitol. On patrol and wresting control
back from the faceless assailant.  Our own mission clear.
Do not lead out of fear. Defend out of honor and respect
of those who had given so much for the cause of many.
In any instance, there remains five sides to every story.
In honor and glory, they died for a cause,
earning our undying devotion and endless applause.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




He gives them repose; a long journey ended
and all who had risen to the occasion knew
their rest was well earned. Not how they would
have wanted, but God never asked them
what they wanted. He gave them what He knew
they could handle. And so, brave and stoic,
extremely heroic they were at peace with
the decision that was made. Honor in their way;
on their terms. A rest well earned
and on that day they learned their limitations.
Strong enough to defend their nation.
In control on the command, “Let’s Roll”.
In verdant pastures, the Shepherd
snatched them up to rest peacefully.
They needed and wanted nothing more.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik



Late  summer  in                NY. A day like
any  other;   New               Yorkers   loved
days  such  as  th                ese.  The   sky
was clear; the air                was  crisp  and
life went on as it                usually did.Taxi
cabs jammed  in                 traffic, and some
commuters  were               too. Pedestrians
nine-to-5 enslave               ment. A sense of
urgency had gone              unnoticed but that
was  business   as              it usually was. Men
and Women head-             ed to work, or to
drop  the children             off at daycare. Today
is  September 11th            2001 and all is right
with the world. The           sun  rises,  casting
the Statue of Liberty          in  seductive  and
glorious  silhouette;           a shadowed sentinel
set  in  the harbor to           greet all travelers to
the “Land of the Free”.      Like those folks on
that  inbound  jet and         others like it. It holds
the hopes and dreams of all aboard, as it does for all below. The airplane’s
shadow is cast ominously across the expanse of concrete, metal and glass;
a close pass to the constructed mountains above. Most unusual on this usual
day. Nothing changes on usual days. Usually, but not today late summer in NY.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




How strangely still
the water is today.
Calm and tranquil. strangely still.

Dark clouds on the horizon,
harbingers of things to come;
clouds that obliterate the sun.

The air seems cold; it chills,
winds stirring through the clearing.
Winds of change do not thrill.

How strangely still
the water is today.
Peaceful thoughts; I get my fill.

And then, the clouds converge,
driven by gusts of fire and winds;
a nasty dose of an ill will.

Before the storm, it seemed quite warm.
How strangely still
the water was today. Such a rapid decay!

A 9/11 poem based on “Sea Calm” by Langston Hughes

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




Lest we forget…

Many lives lost, affected and changed,
our perspectives forever askew, rearranged.
Our concern for humanity given new light,
ten years in the making, and it’s still not right.
Sacrifices made by the selfless and compassionate;
the brave and we’re still helpless.
Never to be far from our hearts and heads.
Buried within our souls instead,
explosive fire, never silenced,
thousand cries of anguish, never silenced.
One massive blaze unquenched, never silenced,
it still remains to burn in our common psyche all the same.
The eternal flame. Lest we forget.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




The phone rings.
An unanswered summoning
leaving one to wonder.
He said goodbye today.
He was used to saying “See you later”.
And the longer it had gone without answer
made her worry. The children came to mind.
Do they know? Did they hear?
Why doesn’t it add up?
Through the window, smoke and dust,
a veil shrouded in obscurity.
You watched in terror. Replayed
over and over with the same result;
an insane happenstance. No chance
to say “I love you”. Only goodbye.
Your gut tells you what your heart refuses
to intimate. It’s too late. He’s not coming home.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




Tall and proud they stood,
brothers from the same design.
One taller than the other;
he wore his hat to distinguish them.
Side-by-side, they kept watch
over the multitudes with attitudes,
near the harbor, they held no ill will
standing still while liberty had shown the way.
Until that day, their futures bright together,
their fates tied to their function.
But their compunction was well founded
when they were grounded.  Encouraging to the last,
until the fast descent caused by one’s great fall.
The other followed shortly, two swept clear.
Ten years older if they were still here.
Tall and proud they stood,
brothers from the same design,
holding lives and dreams for all
concerned in the balance.
Under a valance of dust and rubble
there remains no trouble remembering the twins

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




On the edge of reason, we watched and waited.
We hated being helpless, and I guess
we hated being the target of hate.
Many were functioning as they normally had, 
but then every man, woman, mom and dad
had much to explain to minds that could not
comprehend. It had sent a strong message,
that we should be ever-vigilant and can’t
let down our guard. It is hard to preach trust
when the thrust of such extreme proportion
penetrates our collective spirit. They thought
they’d split it in two. It is true that we fight
amongst each other, like any “sister” and “brother”
but let another interfere and we’ll be here united
to fight it tooth and nail. We had stumbled, but did not fail.
May God continue to Bless America!

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik




The sun had arisen, a beacon offering illumination;giving shadows and then taking them away. A day like any other. Mothers preparing the children for school, before they head to work. Fathers making their commute to execute the completion of another day of living the American dream. It seemed a perfect day to stay that course. Of course, dreams can morph into nightmares that destroy, and every man, woman, girl and boy still strive to awaken from the promise so taken; shaken to our core and what’s more, feeling confused and abused, hated and welling with the same. But, not for long. The strong urge to strike was replaced by the urgent need to care and rescue; to eschew the lowly who strike like thieves in the night. The fight continues to remember the fallen, those called to serve and protect from this sect of humanity bathed in the blood of insanity.

The phoenix rises.
From the ash and dust it flies
upon eagles wings.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik