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Poem: That day in September

We remain forever moved by the courage of the first responders and military personnel who responded to the threat that day


A man adjusts a flag that was inserted in the name of one of the New York City Police Department’s first responders at the South Pool of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in New York, following a ceremony honoring 9/11 first responders who were also military veterans.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

No matter how many September 11 anniversaries come and go, I can’t help but recall the innocence of the victims, and am forever moved by the courage of the first responders and military personnel who responded to the threat that day and continue to respond to this very day.

I also am truly in awe every time I think about those brave passengers of Flight 93, who fought back and showed the same kind of courage, determination and sacrifice as the defenders of the Alamo.

In this poem, I try to pay homage to this courage and sacrifice and help others to never forget September 11, 2001.

My fellow Americans you shall hear,
A story, whose re-telling may inspire a tear.
A story of a day we all must remember,
It all started on the eleventh...

...That day in September.

The story is filled with thousands of faces,
The tragedy played out in a variety of places.
The world’s eyes first on D.C. and New York were peeled,
Then in a blink, all were drawn to a smoldering field.

The day started as passengers took seats on four planes,
Each flight interrupted by the murderers’ refrain.
They cried “Allah Akbar!” as they slashed and they killed,
Those left alive, to the bone must have truly been chilled.

The whole story unfolded in but a few hours,
As these planes were flown into the Pentagon and World Towers.
In the burning towers thousands struggled to get out,
Some leapt as they prayed their last prayer in a shout.

Our enemies danced, thinking evil had won,
But this fight had not ended, it had only begun.
All tales of treachery have their Osamas and Neros,
On this day the battle was joined by our heroes.

Those first responders arrived on September eleven,
Not knowing they were climbing their stairway to heaven.
Courage carried them up toward that burning hell,
And their souls met St. Michael, when those two towers fell.

The day was not over and the fight was not lost,
For terrorists had vowed to strike D.C. at all cost.
The heroes of Flight 93 formed a plan,
In the Pennsylvania skies they took one final stand.

Millions mourned thousands, our country was weeping,
But the giant re-awoke that for so long had been sleeping.
As firefighters and police paused to bury their friends,
The standard passed to those on who freedom depends.

From the rubble came a shout, “Our enemies will hear us,”
The American soldier gave evil a reason to fear us.
Our soldiers fought bravely and won every battle,
In spite of the incessant political prattle.

Thanks to those in uniform with guns at their hips
With a fire in their hearts and a prayer on their lips.
They fought far from home so we can live free,
They brought to Osama his justice and a grave in the sea.

They know the fight is not over, neither lost nor yet won,
They continue the struggle and with courage carry on.
They sweat, they bleed and for us they remember,
Ever vigilant they prevent another day like...

...That day in September.

This article, originally published 09/09/2011, has been updated.

Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. Marcou’s awards include Police Officer of the Year, SWAT Officer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Domestic Violence Officer of the Year. Upon retiring, Lt. Marcou began writing. Additional awards Lt. Marcou received were 15 departmental citations (his department’s highest award), two Chief’s Superior Achievement Awards and the Distinguished Service Medal for his response to an active shooter. He is a co-author of “Street Survival II, Tactics for Deadly Encounters,” which is now available. His novels, “The Calling, the Making of a Veteran Cop,” “SWAT, Blue Knights in Black Armor,” “Nobody’s Heroes” and Destiny of Heroes,” as well as his latest non-fiction offering, “Law Dogs, Great Cops in American History,” are all available at Amazon. Dan is a member of the Police1 Editorial Advisory Board.