Let's Roll

   A place of sorrow. A place of tears. A place of death. A place of inspiration. A place of hope.

   A place where human courage was displayed with two simple words – “Let’s roll.”

   One year after those words, a car pulls into the parking lot, amid all the sorrow, tears, death, inspiration, hope,

   where those two words echo over the field and sadness hangs like a shroud over the grassy graveyard.

   Three generations get out of the car, an entire family – all except one. The youngest child remains

   inside. She, more than all the others, feels the sorrow, tears, death, inspiration, hope.

   She, more than all the others, hears the echo of those two words – “Let’s roll.”

   The others try to convince her to come out. They know the story of this place, but

   they do not feel it, see it, like she does.

   In the little girl’s eyes, there is more than their family, more than tourists, at the field. To her,

   there are angels. To her, the heroes and victims of that day never left.

   After several attempts, the family gets the girl to come out of the car.

   Several years later, the family is back among the sorrow, tears, death, inspiration, hope. 

   Back to the echo of those two words – “Let’s roll.”

   The little girl looks around the field – a memorial is under construction

   around the field, that grassy graveyard. But something is different.

   The angels are gone.

   The heroes and victims of that day have finally moved on.

   They are happy that they are remembered and are

   ready to go.

   The little girl tells her mother eagerly about the change.

   A nearby tourist, there for the first time, overhears. At the little girl’s words

   he begins to notice the sorrow, tears, death, inspiration, hope. He begins to notice

   the pall of sadness – it is not a field, it is a graveyard.

   Perhaps this day will stay with him.

   Many years later, the little girl is not so little anymore.

   She is in high school.

   That day that caused so much sorrow, tears, death, inspiration, hope, was 15 years ago.

   She doesn’t remember

   the angels, only the stories from her mother –

   the story of those two words – “Let’s roll.”

   She wants to do something for those angels, for their families.

   She thinks of their heroism, their courage.

   She decides to make rosaries. Her classmates make

   dozens of rosaries in three months. They write

   cards for each family. The rosaries arrive

   just in time for the holidays.

   From Hawaii to Virginia, 40 families

   receive a reminder of that day – the sorrow, tears, death, inspiration, hope.

   And over it all is the echo

   of the two words that started it all –

   “Let’s roll.”

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

Comments

mawalz21

Let's Roll is about my experiences at the Shanksville, PA crash site when I was little.  I hadn't done much poetry before this, but Let's Roll came to me on the night of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11.  After writing it, I made a few changes, mostly to how the lines are laid out.  Other than that, it is written exactly as it came to me.

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