Wage Peace on 9/11

I have shared my family’s experience and sorrow about 9/11. On this anniversary of 9/11, I want to share the powerful words of poet, author, and mentor, Judyth Hill. We must wage peace and breathe.

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Wage Peace by Judyth Hill

Wage peace with your breath.

Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.

Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.

Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.

Learn to knit, and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief
as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of fish.

Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious:

Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if armistice has already arrived.

Don’t wait another minute.
Celebrate today.

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We Remember and Honor -Forever in our Hearts

Marsh memorial

Marsh & McLennan Companies Memorial

The events of this day touch us all to our core. This is our family’s personal experience. The company my husband works for, Marsh had one of its offices in the twin towers of the World Trade Center. My husband lost 295 colleagues that day. 

home_footer_textThe attack also prompted my son to enlist in the Ohio National Guard. We hold all those involved in our hearts always.

September 11, 2001 By Janie Reinart

Wicked hands
Choke off
Reason
Icy-cold fingers of anguish
Freeze our hearts
Numb our brains
Fiery hate-fueled ideals
Melt steel
And hope
Leveling lives in an instant
Leaving only
Fear
Like falling white paper
To cover the ground

Trembling hands
Seek
Answers
Sobs collapse silence
Reflecting replayed news
A nation
Brought to our knees
Can’t pray hard enough
GOD BLESS AMERICA
Tears burn our eyes
Death stares back
Unblinking
Oh Lord hear our prayer

Holy hands
Dig
Amid the rubble
Holding sorrow
Too heavy to move
Finding the sacred
In the everyday
Flags unfurl
A call to arms
My son enlists
I can only pray

Weary hands
Clutch
Funeral roses
For our beloved
Blessing life’s fragileness
Leaving only
Memories
Like falling white petals
To cover the hole
In our hearts
Longing for peace
We pray
Always

My Father’s Flag Connects Me

Follow my Blog Tour November 11-19, 2012

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( November 11-25 ) of eBook copies of

Love You More Than You Know

The attack on 9/11 prompted my son to enlist in the Ohio Army National Guard. He said, “There is even more reason now than before.” Weeks before my son was to leave in December of 2003 for deployment to Iraq, my father, a WWII veteran, passed away.

My son was part of the honor guard and handed my father’s flag to my mother. When my son returned from Iraq, my mother returned the favor and handed my son, my father’s flag. Whenever I see our country’s flag, my heart beats faster and my eyes fill with tears. My father’s flag connects me to my two veterans in my family.

U. S. Veteran’s Day honors all of our veterans, who served past and present. God bless our troops and the country that we love. Take time to do something for a veteran for their faithful service. I will be saying thank you to my son by bringing him lunch at work.

Excerpt from my story, “Boots To Ground” in Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War:

The sweet mournful sound of taps honored my father’s leaving, echoing in the cold December morning. The silence was shattered by a color guard firing a twenty-one-gun salute. Our country’s flag fluttered, as it lay draped over the casket of a hero, Joseph Vayo, a Navy veteran of WWII.

Reverently, the color guard folded this bright symbol of freedom into a triangle. My son, Specialist Joseph Reinart, Ohio Army National Guard, stepped briskly forward to receive the flag. Turning to my mother, Joe said, “ On behalf of the President of the United States of America, I present you with this flag for your husband’s faithful service to our country. May God bless you, and I love you, Grandma.”

Just weeks later, Joe was leaving. My son, my father’s namesake, was being deployed to the Middle East to serve his country. . . We made it through his fifteen months of active duty and deployment. Joe’s homecoming was February 11, 2005, a wonderful Valentine’s Day present. In the crowded cafeteria at a school in Youngstown, teary eyed, my Mom presented Joe with my Father’s flag for his faithful service to our country.

My Father’s Flag

Mary Vayo- Grandmother of Joe Reinart

With the death of bin Laden, we have been looking back at what happened on 9/11.  The company my husband works for, Marsh had one of its offices in the twin towers of the World Trade Center. My husband lost 295 colleagues that day. The attack also prompted my son to enlist in the Ohio National Guard.

After September 11th, a flag was raised at ground zero. Just before my son left for his deployment to Iraq, my father (WWII veteran) passed away. My son was part of the honor guard that handed my father’s flag to my mother.  When my son returned from Iraq, my mother returned the favor and handed my son, my father’s flag. Whenever I see our country’s flag, my heart swells and my eyes tear. God bless our troops and our veterans.

Excerpt from “Boots To Ground” in Love You More Than You Know:

The sweet mournful sound of taps honored my father’s leaving, echoing in the cold December morning. The silence was shattered by a color guard firing a twenty-one-gun salute. Our country’s flag fluttered, as it lay draped over the casket of a hero, Joseph Vayo, a Navy veteran of WWII. 

Reverently, the color guard folded this bright symbol of freedom into a triangle.  My son, Specialist Joseph Reinart, Ohio Army National Guard, stepped briskly forward to receive the flag. Turning to my mother, Joe said, “ On behalf of the President of the United States of America, I present you with this flag for your husband’s faithful service to our country.  May God bless you, and I love you, Grandma.”

Just weeks later, Joe was leaving.  My son, my father’s namesake, was being deployed to the Middle East to serve his country. . .  Joe’s homecoming was February 11, 2005, a wonderful Valentine’s Day present.  In the crowded cafeteria at a school in Youngstown, teary eyed, my Mom presented Joe with my Father’s flag for his faithful service to our country.

Phone Cards For The Troops

Slide1On September 11, the 7th Annual Phone Cards for the Troops silent auction and luncheon took place at Windows on the River. As part of the fund raiser, I had the happy task of signing Love You More Than You Know.

One of the guest speakers was George Sleigh, a British-born naval architect. By the grace of God, he narrowly escaped death as his office is on the 91st  floor in the north tower. The first plane exploded into the 93rd to 98th floors of the World Trade Centers’ north tower. No one survived above the 91st floor. As he climbed out of the rubble of his office, he prayed. George and the twelve other people in his office escaped down the only stairway that wasn’t blocked.

It took 45 minutes to descend that stairway. George became separated from his friends. They met the young firemen wearing 60 pounds of equipment coming up the stairs to try and rescue people (343 firemen lost their lives that day). Reaching  the ground floor concourse, George was flung into a wall by the force of an explosion coming from the south tower. That was the second time he prayed.

Blinded by darkness, dust, and smoke a rescue worker miraculously appeared with a flashlight showing George and two other men where to exit the building (70 port authority personal workers died that day). As George and the men managed to walk out of the building, a young photographer took their picture.

The photographer then sprinted to his nearby apartment and emailed the picture to his London office.  George’s sons happened to be working in London at the time and were desperate to hear from their father and know that he was safe. International phone lines were jammed. The next morning they opened the paper in London to see a picture of their father walking away from the disaster. (I cropped the picture George sent me.)

Because of what happened on 9/11, my son and many other brave men and women enlisted to help protect our country. God bless our troops and keep them from harm.