Untitled – September 11, 2001

Beyond the loss of life
Beyond the jumble of sorrow and outrage
Beyond the courage of people helping people in need
Is the now unforgettable image
The image of the airplane and the building and the fire and the shower of fragments
The airplane which is to us a work of art, and of inspiration
The airplane that symbolizes what is wonderful about human inequity
The airplane that represents what we can do when we set our minds to it
The airplane that we watched fly over as children and said, ‘someday’
That same airplane was used against its own will
Humans at their best created that airplane
Now humans at their worst…
Pilots, please tell your kids in the coming years that there once was a time
Before this final loss of innocence
When airports were clubs not armed camps
When air travel was a mixture of fantasy and adventure
And when the image of an airplane was only art, science, and dreams
Not the building and the fire and the shower of fragments

America and the image of the airplane will recover —
but we will remember a different time.

Paul A. Craig, September 11, 2001