One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.”—Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, from “The Names,” read before a special Joint Session of Congress in 2002
(I took the accompanying photo of the World Trade Center Memorial in Overpeck County Park in Leonia, N.J. The design features two oblique monoliths symbolizing the Twin Towers, with the names inscribed of the 154 Bergen County, N.J., residents who perished that day. One of the names on this tablet was the brother of a former co-worker of mine.
At a memorial service a year after the awful event, a priest summed up the terror attack—and of those who rose to meet it--this way: “Hatred started the fires on 9/11. Love put them out.”)