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The September 11 Digital Archive

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Smithsonian “September 11:
Bearing Witness to History”

     Story of September 11
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Contributed by: Megan Marinello
Contributor's location on 9/11:
Contributed on: 20 August 2002

How did you witness history on September 11th?

I watched the buildings crumble on television from my office. I remember feeling one, small tear glide down my face. That's all I could do at that moment as I stood in utter shock and disbelief that this horror could possibly be taking place. After the tragedies at the World Trade Center that took place on September 11th, I had felt so helpless not knowing what to do. I wanted to help, but had little money to donate and was unable to contribute at Ground Zero. As an American I suffered greatly and as a New Yorker I was simply beside myself. What could I do to help? I wanted to capture the moment and inspire at the same time. I wanted to share what was in my heart and hopefully help others in the process. So, I went back to my office and wrote a poem called "Towers of Angels." I sent the poem out to a handful of close friends, then they sent it out, then their friends sent it out and so on a so forth. Suddenly, I was bombarded with emails and people requesting to post or use the poem. I had no idea when I wrote "Towers of Angels," the influence it would have and the tremendous response it would receive from the World. Over the course of this past year, “Towers of Angels” has received numerous emails, traveled around the World via cyberspace, has been posted at various websites and read at countless memorial services - one of which was a Memorial where it was read by a member of the Guardian Angel Organization and I believe it was aired on MSNBC . “Towers of Angels” literally grew wings and spread through cyberspace. Flying at warp speed. It began to make its way around the World. An Australian schoolteacher contacted me thanking me for creating something she could read to her grammar school class, a child’s Mother replied asking permission for her daughter to use it in a school project, an artist used it within a tribute and even “Chicken Soup for the Soul” contacted me about possibly including it in an upcoming inspirational book regarding the events. Fire, Police, and EMS offered thanks, as did victims families for allowing something beautiful and bright to overpower their despair and darkness. And then, the most amazing thing happened, I was informed from a Police Captain that “Towers of Angels” was being passed around by the men and women at Ground Zero . I Had been able to help at Ground Zero after all! I was so happy something so simple, could travel so far. It’s so hard for me to keep up with where “Towers of Angels” has touched. Numerous people have read it publicly, yet I haven’t had a chance to verbally share it. I hope to one day. Since it has helped so many, my goal is to have “Towers of Angels” included in the official WTC Memorial. It’s comforting to know that the Angels are still flying through cyberspace, hopefully spreading more inspiration with each flap of their wings... TOWERS OF ANGELS BY: MEGAN MARINELLO Two towers stood side-by-side so high in the air So strong, so commanding, so proud to be there Completing a landscape now frozen in time A part of the old New York City skyline How can we forget that a part of us died? When freedom and evil were forced to collide The towers were hit, but our hearts crashed as well The moment our freedom and liberty fell Trapping Americans deep in its core Pushing once peace to the onset of war Collapsing so strong and so fast on our peers Evoking our gravest and darkest of fears Shaking our foundation and causing the slide The most valuable loss was that from inside Our Mothers and Fathers once bright and alive Helped our Sisters and Brothers fight to survive Our friends and cousins fought hard to pull through As our Sons and Daughters did the best they could do Americans watched in horror, hands tied to prevent The avalanche of humanity brought down to cement Now side-by-side, new strength rose in the towers’ place Men and women working at a hurried, frantic pace Through piles and piles of wreckage and debris Hoping that more survivors is what they would see Americans banning together, soaring flags, showing pride Looking to a higher power, so thankful to be alive Struggling with torment and helpless feelings of unrest Certainly our great Nation had received its ultimate test And as the world watched and prayed, counting the days Offering help in so many astounding, inspirational ways A miracle happened; the ruble and debris began to rise American's watched in amazement, not believing their eyes White, billowy wings surfaced — breaking through the ground Spirals and spirals of bright, beautiful light danced around They're Angels, my God! Wings upon wings soaring to be free Flapping, ascending, flying through the space the towers use to be Dancing and laughing, smiling and singing as they rise through the air Thanking, applauding, kissing America for the freedom that we share As tears befall the eyes of those distressed and pained to see them go They offer up their hearts, their strength and most importantly their souls For America they fly so high, so far, as they flutter their good-byes For they are our Heroes, our greatest sacrifice, our Towers Of Angels in the skies © 2001 Megan Marinello

Has your life changed because of September 11, 2001?

Please read above.

What do you think should be remembered about September 11th?

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Did you fly an American flag after the events of September 11th?

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Cite as: Megan Marinello, Smithsonian Story #335, The September 11 Digital Archive, 20 August 2002, <>.
Archival Information: 868 words, 5301 characters

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