Subdued Reflection On Sept. 11 Anniversary

A flag sits atop one of the memorial panels at the World Trade Center site in New York City on Tuesday. i i

hide captionA flag sits atop one of the memorial panels at the World Trade Center site in New York City on Tuesday.

Chris Pedota-Pool/Getty Images
A flag sits atop one of the memorial panels at the World Trade Center site in New York City on Tuesday.

A flag sits atop one of the memorial panels at the World Trade Center site in New York City on Tuesday.

Chris Pedota-Pool/Getty Images

On the morning of the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the sound of bagpipes pierced the air at the site of the World Trade Center memorial in New York City.

At the Pentagon, in New York and in Shanksville, Pa., thousands of Americans came together to remember those who were killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

NPR's Neal Conan listens to sounds from anniversary events across the country. He also reads a poem from Poetry After 9-11, an anthology by New York poets first published in 2002.

Going To Work

by NANCY MERCADO

On their daily trips
Commuters shed tears now
Use American flags
Like veiled women
To hide their sorrows
Rush to buy throwaway cameras
To capture your twin ghosts

Frantically I too
Purchase your memory
On post cards & coffee mugs
In New York City souvenir shops
Afraid I'll forget your facade
Forget my hallowed Sunday
Morning Path Train rides
My subway travels through
The center of your belly
Day after day

Afraid I'll forget your powers
To transform helicopters
Into ladybugs gliding in the air
To turn New York City
Into a breathing map
To display the curvature
Of our world

From Poetry After 9-11 edited by Dennis Loy Johnson and Valerie Merians. Copyright 2012 by Nancy Mercado. Excerpted by permission of Melville House.

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