So many speeches today ... so many of our elected officials, or members of their entourage, stepping up to the microphone and using the 9/11 anniversary to imprint their definition of America and Americanism upon us ...
I don't care to share with you their words ... if I could, I would share with you the sights and sounds of Wynton Marsalis and his trumpet, playing 'Closer Walk With Thee' at Ground Zero ...
But I can't ... I'm stuck with words ... unfortunately, the words of Bush and Rumsfeld, Conaway and Cornyn, defining my country - and defining my heart and mind as a citizen of that country - are inadequate, at best ...
I'll defer to words from the past, penned by Robert Frost in "The Gift Outright" ...
"The land was ours before we were the land's
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak.
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become."