Welcome at the Rainbow Bridge - Sept 11, 2001


by Alexander Theodore, Bouvier, Fourth Year Resident


On the morning of September 11, 2001, there was an unprecedented amount of activity at the Rainbow Bridge. Decisions had to be made. They had to be made quickly. And, they were.

An issue, not often addressed here, is the fact that many residents really have no loved one for whom to wait. Think of the pups who lived and died in hideous puppy mills. No one on earth loved or protected them. What about the many who spent unhappy lives tied in backyards? And, the ones who were abused. Who are they to wait for?

We don't talk about that much up here. We share our loved ones as they arrive, happy to do so. But we all know there is nothing like having your very own person who thinks you are the most special pup in the Heavens.

Last Tuesday morning a request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons to volunteer for special assignment.. An eager, curious crowd surged excitedly forward, each pup wondering what the assignment would be.

They were told by a solemn voice that unexpectedly, all at once, over 4,000 loving people had left Earth long before they were ready. All the pups, as all pups do, felt the humans' pain deep in their own hearts. 

 Without hearing more, there was a clamoring among them - "May I have one to comfort?" "I'll take two, I have a big heart." "I have been saving kisses forever."

One after another they came forward begging for assignment. One cozy-looking fluffy pup hesitantly asked, "Are there any children coming? I would be very comforting for a child 'cause I'm soft and squishy and I always wanted to be hugged." A group of Dalmatians came forward asking to meet the Firemen and be their friends. The larger working breeds offered to greet the Police Officers and make them feel at home. Little dogs volunteered to do what they do best, cuddle and kiss.

Dogs who on Earth had never had a kind word or a pat on the head, stepped forward and said, "I will love any human who needs love."

Then all the dogs, wherever on Earth they originally came from, rushed to the Rainbow Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share - each tail wagging an American Flag.

Unknown — The Binch

~The Binch~

Every U down in Uville liked U.S. a lot,
But the Binch, who lived Far East of Uville, did not.
The Binch hated U.S! the whole U.S. way!
Now don't ask me why, for nobody can say,
It could be his turban was screwed on too tight.
Or the sun from the desert had beaten too bright
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
But, Whatever the reason, his heart or his turban,
He stood facing Uville, the part that was urban.
"They're doing their business," he snarled from his perch.
"They're raising their families! They're going to church!
They're leading the world, and their empire is thriving,
I MUST keep the S's and U's from surviving!"
Tomorrow, he knew, all the U's and the S's,
Would put on their pants and their shirts and their dresses,
They'd go to their offices, playgrounds and schools,
And abide by their U and S values and rules,
And then they'd do something he liked least of all,
Every U down in U-ville, the tall and the small,
Would stand all united, each U and each S,
And they'd sing Uville's anthem, "God bless us! God bless!"
All around their Twin Towers of Uville, they'd stand,
and their voices would drown every sound in the land.
"I must stop that singing," Binch said with a smirk,
And he had an idea--an idea that might work!
The Binch stole some U airplanes in U morning hours,
And crashed them right into the Uville Twin Towers.
"They'll wake to disaster!" he snickered, so sour,
"And how can they sing when they can't find a tower?"
The Binch cocked his ear as they woke from their sleeping,
All set to enjoy their U-wailing and weeping,
Instead he heard something that started quite low,
And it built up quite slow, but it started to grow--
And the Binch heard the most unpredictable thing...
And he couldn't believe it--they started to sing!
He stared down at U-ville, not trusting his eyes,
What he saw was a shocking, disgusting surprise!
Every U down in U-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any towers at all!
He HADN'T stopped U-Ville from singing! It sung!
For down deep in the hearts of the old and the young,
Those Twin Towers were standing, called Hope and called Pride,
And you can't smash the towers we hold deep inside.
So we circle the sites where our heroes did fall,
With a hand in each hand of the tall and the small,
And we mourn for our losses while knowing we'll cope,
For we still have inside that U-Pride and U-Hope.
For America means a bit more than tall towers,
It means more than wealth or political powers,
It's more than our enemies ever could guess,
So may God bless America! Bless us! God bless!

~ Author unknown

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty
I wonder what she thought 
As she stood there, strong and tall. 
She couldn't turn away, 
She was forced to watch it all. 
Did she long to offer comfort 
As her country bled? 
With her arm forever frozen 
High above her head. 
She could not shield her eyes 
She could not hide her face 
She just stared across the water 
Keeping Freedom's place. 
The smell of smoke and terror 
Somehow reduced her size 
So small within the harbor 
But still we recognized... 
How dignified and beautiful 
On a day so many died 
I wonder what she thought, 
And I wonder if she cried.

The Statue of Liberty

I wonder what she thought As she stood there, strong and tall. She couldn't turn away, She was forced to watch it all. Did she long to offer comfort As her country bled? With her arm forever frozen High above her head. She could not shield her eyes She could not hide her face She just stared across the water Keeping Freedom's place. The smell of smoke and terror Somehow reduced her size So small within the harbor But still we recognized... How dignified and beautiful On a day so many died I wonder what she thought, And I wonder if she cried.

Paul Spreadbury — Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven

Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven
By Paul Spreadbury

Two thousand one, nine eleven,
Five thousand plus arrive in heaven.
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait.
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying,
"Lets sit, lets chat."
As they settle down in seats of clouds,
A man named Martin shouts out proud,
"I have a dream!" and once he did
The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."
Groups of soldiers in blue and gray,
Others in khaki, and green then say,
"We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"
The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."
From a man on sticks one could hear,
"The only thing we have to fear...
The Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
trust us sir, we've passed that test."
"Courage doesn't hide in caves,
You can't bury freedom, in a grave."
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
In a distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores.
A silence fell within the mist,
Somehow a Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day.
"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports.
Worked our gardens, sang our songs,
Went to church and clipped coupons.
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we're not."
The tall man in the stovepipe hat,
Stood and said, "Don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me."
Then, before them all appeared a scene,
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams.
Death, destruction, smoke and dust,
And people working just 'cause they must.
Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, But not alone.
"Look! Blackman, Whitman, Brownian, fellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!"
So said Martin, as he watched the scene,
"Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."
Down below three firemen raised,
The colors high into ashen haze.
The soldiers above had seen it before,
On Iwo Jima back in '44.
The man on sticks studied everything closely,
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly.
"I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow -- but I don't see fear."
"You left behind husbands and wives,
Daughters and sons and so many lives.
They are suffering now because of this wrong,
But look very closely, you're not really gone.
All of those people, even those who've never met you,
All of their lives, they'll never forget you.
Don't you see what has happened? Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one."
With that the man in the stovepipe hat said,
"Take my hand," and from there he led
five thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven,
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven.

Salina Cousins — At Dawn's Light

I felt the need to share in my grief with words written from my heart on the great Tragedy that has come to America.

At Dawn's Light

The Sun rises over the East
Gray and black smoke spirals in the sky.
Glazed, confused, and saddened eyes just blink.
As a Nation struggles with how to say goodbye.
America and other Countries mourn,
For this horrific tragedy this past day.
The stark reality is spotlighted,
In the new light of the Sun's ray.
American Flight 11 and United Flight 175
Taken over by terrorist to fear.
Nothing could be done,
For the scheduled flight path, was to veer.
The Pentagon though scared
Hung a 3 story Flag to cheer.
And in reporter's eyes.
You could see that heartfelt tear!

Cell and air phone calls on United Flight 93
Really tell of the heroic deeds.
And at the Pentagon,
They follow all possible leads.
As the setting Sun
Lowers and glides to rest.
The American Flags wave proudly,
As we display our symbol, and crest.
With my Heartfelt Sympathy's

Salina R. Cousins

Patty Schramm — The Pile: A Tribute to the Fallen Heroes of 9/11

The Pile: A Tribute to the Fallen Heroes of 9/11


My brothers' souls are here
Beneath the pile at my feet.

I draw nearer to the candle,
My tears extinguishing its delicate flame.

My heart is heavy
With the burden of surviving.

One question always on my mind.
Why wasn't I there in time?

They tell me I'm the lucky one,
But I think they are wrong.

Luck is a relative term,
Looking into your fallen brother's eyes.

The flag still flies next to me,
Where we placed it that day.

A stark reminder to the world,
America - the strong - the brave.

My brothers' souls are here,
Beneath the pile at my feet.

As we pull them free, I pray
Please God, hold them close as they sleep.

Patty Schramm © 1/19/02

Linda Knighton — The Dance of Death

The Dance of Death

by Linde Knighton

Was it Yeats who called Ireland a terrible beauty?
The place where revenge wound from Protestant to Catholic
And back and back again, like intricate knotwork.

The wreakage at ground zero is like abscract art,
Sets for a modern dance that hurts, then grieves,
Then digs to find our common humanity inside.

The walls of loved ones are images,
Names from monuments turned to faces,
One proud, one handsome, one shy--
All beautiful these days.
Everyone's loved ones are precious.

Young people are going to enter the long,
Winding reel of revenge. Vietnam is still too
Raw in my memory. The broken men and women are not yet
All Mended. The wall in the other Washington is too long by far.
We have monuments enough.

Copyright 2001

Unknown — If I Knew

In memory of all those who perished; the passengers and the pilots on the United Air and AA flights, the workers in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and all the innocent bystanders. Our prayers go out to the friends and families of the deceased.


If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

~ Unknown

F.M. Nicholson — The Couple



They held hands, it said
and jumped to their deaths.
They, two of many
caught amidst conflagration
without hope of rescue.

They held hands: a couple,
lovers, friends, newly met?
Bonded in an instant
to an eternity beyond
the hellish world
they felt at their backs.


It was a nightmare day
of senseless deaths,
when bodies rained
with glass and steel
and concrete crumblings
from a distant sky,
a terror too huge
to comprehend.


Yet, when I pause
they come again, dancing
within my mind's eye:
two people, innocent,
choosing to abandon fire
and take flight, holding hands,
namelessly bound together
even as all was lost.


F.M. Nicholson

Anne Azel — A WTC Story

A WTC Story
by Anne Azel

People ask her what it is like down there. "It's alive," she tells them. That shocks. It seems disrespectful that she should talk of life in a scene of such devastation. Hundreds died here in just a short few minutes, their lives and names stripped away. It is her job to help give them back their names. To bring some closure and start the healing of their families' grief.

Mostly that meant identification work in the lab but sometimes, as a forensic expert, she has to be there to try to piece together what happened. To find answers for next time. There is always a next time.
"It is alive", she says. The mask and breathing apparatus do not seal out the stink. Behind the smell of the new plastic of her mask, there is the acidic-damp stench of wet cement, burnt plastic, smoldering fiberglass, and dust. It is the body odor of disaster. She knows it well.

She and the firefighters who will lead the way, get down on their knees one at a time. She wonders if they each pray. The words of prayer come uninvited to her lips. On hands and knees, she is a pilgrim entering a holy shrine. They follow the ropes, the veins that stretch from one level to another. Sometimes, they squeeze around metal girders or slide down dust covered slabs of concrete. The steel and cement are broken bones and muscles highlighted by their probes out of the darkness. Other times, they enter voids where life has frozen in a historic snapshot. A store, a desk, a newspaper stand - September 11th, an early morning edition that has missed the news.

She hears its life force. The steady drip, drip, drip of water, its heart beat. The groan and crack as stiff joints settle in more comfortable locations, and off in the distance still, the soft breath of fire.
She has touched a thousand dead and yet, she will tell you it is alive. She feels its pain and its struggle to survive. It's alive with a thousand souls, their lives, futures and dreams. It is a harsh reality down there but not a sad one. What is important was not killed. It will always be alive, this place, these souls, a monument to the price of freedom.