Thursday, September 11, 2008


The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.

~ Thomas Jefferson, Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774)

I woke from a dream this morning of "that infamous day" seven years ago. My shadow splayed against the brick of the commons as I made my way to art history class. Voices echoing off the building as the news begins to trickle through campus. Fidgeting in my seat that entire hour, only to exit the room and find myself face to face with banks of televisions projecting the horror. The acidic taste of vitamins as I raced into the bathroom and retched.

Images whirled behind my eyelids until I realized just how much time had passed, the morning being orchestrated by coverage of the memorials on all the news channels. I had to pause getting ready because I was crying my makeup off faster than I could apply it. Haunting voices of choirs singing requiems to the skies. Nearly two hundred men in uniform unveiling the bench and memory pool of each individual victim of the Pentagon.

Over the past seven years, I've listened to one particular song on this day as my own private memorial... and now I'm sharing it with you. It is from John Rutter's Requiem, "The Lord Is My Shepherd". It has always had sentimental significance to me, because I play the oboe and have performed the piece before. But in light of today, it is only that much more important. I've included the best video I could find of it on YouTube and have given you the lyrics.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd: therefore can I lack nothing. He shall feed me in a green pasture: and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort. He shall comfort my soul: and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, for His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me. Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me: Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.

But Thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


The piece is from Rutter's Requiem Mass and although I am not Catholic (to the disbelief of all of my Italian family), I find something comforting about the timbre of the Latin, the platitude of the prayers offered in it. In fact, my CD was so scratched I downloaded the full album so that I could put it on my iPod.

This is my prayer for those whose lives were taken, those who laid them down, and the families left behind....

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and may light eternal shine upon them.

1 comment:

kari and kijsa said...

Absolutely beautiful!!

kari & kijsa