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On Behalf of a Grateful Nation
by Joe Rosenthal, and Thomas Franklin of the Bergen Record
On Behalf Of a Grateful Nation...  

Kerri Osborne-Brown
Wednesday, September 18, 2001

On Behalf Of a Grateful Nation...

It has been one week today, since an unknown evil attacked my country. My thoughts have been frayed and are just now beginning to collect themselves again.

Although I did not know anyone, personally, who was murdered on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I know they were my fellow Countrymen. They were my brothers and my sisters and I know they were someone's child. I know some of them were mothers or fathers, who's children will know them only through kind words spoken by others. I know that in homes across the world, loved ones waited for them, not knowing they will never again kiss their lips or whisper "I love you." as they leave for work. I know that this was not an act of God, but I know that God was with them. Just as I know he is with us now.

I have lit my candles and I have prayed my prayers, but that has not stopped the tears from stinging my eyes as images emblaze themselves in my mind forever. I have grieved, and will continue to grieve, for the innocent, lost souls of the Pentagon, The World Trade Center and those who left this world as heroes.


A flag looming low on it's staff will take on new meaning for me. It will no long be just a meaningful tribute to a fallen soldier or public official, but will forever remind me of five thousand four hundred innocent men, women, and children who died a horrific death. It will remind me of firemen and officers killed trying to save the lives of strangers, it will remind me of a mom and dad saying their last goodbye to their child. It will remind me of a world in mourning. It will forever bring a tear to my eye, sadness to my heart and compassion to my soul. The melodious Echoes of "God Bless American", we have all song throughout our lives, will now be sung with new when I ask God to bless America, I will ask, "God, heal our wounds and make us whole again."

Youth (Ethan Miller, Reuters)

I am marveled by the sentiment of our friends in faraway places, those on distant shores who put their differences aside to mourn with us. Those with different faiths, those of different cultures, all grieving for my people. I wonder, Mr. Bin Laden, if you knew that we are a Nation that far out reaches our own shores? If you knew that we are a family?  Not brought together by a continent but by a common belief that Evil grows where good men do nothing. That we are Americans, and that adversity only makes us stronger. We are a Phenix, we will rise from these ashes as we have many times in the past. We will bury our dead. We will mourn their loss. We will celebrate the lives that they gave for us. We will overcome! For that which does not kill us, only makes us stronger.

I will spend the rest of my days wondering how  people such as this can exist on this earth. With time, I will learn to forgive, but never to forget. For now I will grieve---- I will grieve for those I did and did not know, for those who must go on and face life without the ones they love. I will grieve for my Country and all Democracies-- everywhere. I will grieve for my Nation that was founded in liberty, united in strong beliefs and held tightly together with love for mankind...

On behalf of a Grateful Nation, Brave Souls--- Thank-you! And may God Bless You and America!

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