Ridgewood Camera Club

World Trade Center (aka Twin Towers) Written Tributes



All material on this page is copyrighted by the member.  If you desire to use any of these writings for any purpose please contact  webhelp@ridgewoodcameraclub.org

The background music on this page is "Poetry in Stone" written and sung by Ingrid Heldt a former Ridgewood Camera Club Member. The lyrics are on this page.


September 8th, 2002 Journey
By Vinnie Kempf


I decided to take a photographic journey today to Ground Zero and like so many of my photographic journeys it turned into something much more meaningful to me. As I walked around disappointed that the Winter Garden was not yet open to the public I found myself immersed in other emotions.

As I walked around the fence surrounding St. Paul’s Chapel I realized rather quickly that I still feel a very strong compassion for both the people who died in the tragedy and the loved ones they left behind.

I was also struck by the thought how lucky we were in that event. Yes lucky. As I walked around I saw that the buildings surrounding Ground Zero while injured were still standing. I realized how lucky we were that those buildings did not collapse killing their occupants at the time. It is hard to visualize the close proximity of those buildings unless you have physically been there. The total damage to the Post Office across the street from Ground Zero is some surface scratches. The old New York Telephone Building while having some gaping holes in it is still standing. Some buildings still are encased in shrouds to keep pedestrians safe from any falling debris but again they are still standing and protected their inhabitants that fateful day.

I then overheard one of my fellow Americans proffer the thought that we Americans should drop an Atom Bomb on the Muslims and make a large Disneyland out of their countries. It was said in all sincerity. I was initially struck by the callousness and insanity of that remark but then I felt a deeper emotion. I realized that while this individual expressed a thought of a rather small minority of Americans so did the group of terrorists express an action of a small minority of Muslims on September 11th. 

It is intolerance of other people of divergent views that is a major cause of the hatred and violence in the world. Even a small minority can have a major impact on the world. My resolve is to increase my tolerance of people who hold divergent views from mine and who may even hate my views or positions. My objective is to defend against the dislike and hatred, to defuse the situation but not to cross over the line to attack those who dislike or hate my views. Would you consider joining me on that journey?


"The Wings of Flight"
of more than 2600 Angels
by Maggie Magee Molino ©2001-2002


Billowing clouds filled the sky surrounded by shades of blue
No longer were there signs of earth and the things that they once knew
The continuous drones of engines propelled their wings of flight
Now so close to Heaven and God's most holy light.



by Maggie Magee Molino ©2001-2002


Amid the smoking rubble a cloaked figure wandered slowly through the gray powdery mist as though He were floating.  Beams of light followed Him and created a veil of sorrow.  (Can you see Him?)

Silent tears streaked the dust filled faces of those who survived, and in the distance, the sounds of bagpipes filled the thick and acrid air with a shrill mournful tune.  (Can you hear it?)

Husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sons, and daughters, friends and colleagues,  who just a few short hours before had kissed their loved ones good-bye saying, "I'll be home" or "See you later" were burned and buried under tons of twisted steel. (Can you see them?) 

As sun began to set, the billowing smoke glowed with an eerie light - and a stillness fell over the land -   There were so few survivors.   (Will you weep for them?)

The cloaked figure - lifted His arms to the sky and sobbed in a voice so heartbroken that the sound still echoes through the entire universe.  (Can you hear Him?)

                     ~~His name  is GOD


by Judy Schilling


A poem's not the place
To recount the fire, the fear, the bodies plunging;
The hot ash falling, emptying forever
The hourglasses of the living and the dead.

A poem's not the place
To picture children praying in their mothers' arms,
Strangers comforting strangers, fathers touching numbers
And carving in the stony air a family's farewell

It will never be the place
To dig into the filth and maggot-minds for motives;
Slaughtering the innocent, the weaponless
Who would never do the same to you or yours:
There are times when even God must blench and turn away.

But a poem is a place
To thank the ones who answered; facing what they faced,
Fearing what they feared, knowing what they knew--
Still they ran into the fire, giving all they had to give.

A poem is a place
To name the names, but there are far too many.
We'll write them in our hearts like lovers' letters on a tree,
Tell them to our children, and they to theirs, forever.

And, last, it is a place
To call to mind the Towers, martyred symbols of our freedom;
Attracting both the human and the camera's eye,
Climbing into heaven like a prayer. A letter sent--
And answered by a billion flags riding on the wind.

Reflections on America's Day of Terror
 by Gwenn Karel Levine, September 15, 2001


On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, three of the World Trade Center buildings fell to the ground as a result of direct hits by two hijacked commercial jets loaded with passengers and fuel, the Pentagon was attacked by a third jet, and a fourth one crashed in Pennsylvania on its way to Washington, D.C.

Before Tuesday, America’s soldiers were from the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the National Guard, and the Coast Guard. In the face of a 21st century war of terrorism, our soldiers now include firefighters, police officers, hardhats, volunteers, and blood donors.

In the past, our weapons were guns and bombs. Now they are pick axes, blowtorches, backhoes, dump trucks, and dry socks.

In past wars, we said farewell to people we eventually mourned at airports and military bases as they were called to serve. This time we said farewell at the breakfast table, the commuter station, and the curb in front of our children's schools to those who were called only to earn a living and care for their families.

Before this week, our war correspondents were "foreign correspondents". This week they are local reporters and news anchors.

During past catastrophes, hospital emergency rooms have been on the frontline - receiving, triaging, and treating the injured. This time, the vast majority of victims never even got that far. They were immolated on the spot. This may have been a blessing because their terror was short lived.

There is so much potential for fear now.

is so much to celebrate, as well.

September 11th will surely be a defining moment in our history, like Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, Watergate, Oklahoma City, and the deaths of JFK, RFK, and MLK. While we lost trust in our government during previous crises, we have now lost trust in our own personal safety - something unprecedented for Americans at home. This makes recent survivor-oriented TV shows look frivolous and ridiculous and renders movies and computer games about death and destruction distasteful.

There are multiple lessons to be learned from this week's attack - lessons about . . . .



May we mourn fully, count our blessings, respect diversity in America and abroad, bring terrorists to justice with minimal injury to civilians, and learn our lessons well.



My 9-11 Diary
Joyce Finlayson


Friday 9/14/2001 (10:00 A.M.):   Doris (my friend) & I got to the city by bus...went to Javits Center, BUT  were turned away, "registration was closed- please return tomorrow".

We did not give up...we started walking downtown....  eventually we ran into a spot (just  an open storage garage- that was a clothing drop-off)... asked if they needed help ...and.... we were sorting and rolling socks for 3 hours. It felt SO GOOD to help, and when a RESCUE WORKER came in asking for some clean dry socks, the honor and importance you felt, of being there and providing help was UNBELIEVABLE. "SOCKS ----  such a small ordinary item - that became such an IMPORTANT NECESSARY  ITEM....  for our dedicated RESCUE WORKERS"....

Then we continued walking downtown to Canal Street... we had some pizza, in a restaurant, (Thursday was the first day they were allowed back in their place since Tuesday).   All the restaurants were not charging or discounting their food.  As we made our way back to WESTSIDE AVE, the strength in the people and the support was overwhelming.  

At PIER 40, we stood for  2-3 hours handing out supplies to the workers , that were going into "GROUND ZERO"  -  (Water, Gatorade, Socks, Underwear, Tshirts, Sandwiches, Saline, Flashlights, Masks, Gloves, Powerbars !!! ) Everytime a vehicle of RESCUE WORKERS drove by, everyone yelled out "THANK YOU "... "GOD BLESS" and cheered them, waving flags, etc. It was such a Powerful site.  There was a small city set up at PIER 40, VOLUNTEERS handling out supplies, taking care of the CANINE RESCUE WORKERS, unloading the trucks full of donations, medical help, massages,  cots, support.  IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SITE, that I have ever seen.

I will ALWAYS REMEMBER that site and the feeling I felt, of being part of it.

At  7:00 P.M., we stood on a corner in NYC with our fellow AMERICANS with lit candles... SHOWING THE WORLD, WE STAND UNITED. At another corner, we met some people, who gave us lit candles to hold, and we all went to UNION SQUARE - the park is being used as a central spot  honoring  all the victims of the WORLD TRADE DISASTER.  There were thousands of people with thousands of candles, pictures, prayers and the SPIRIT OF AMERICA.

We were walking or working in the city for 12 hours....(the only time we sat was to eat)... we got home to Bergen Co, NJ  at 11:30 P.M.

THIS WAS THE MOST POWERFUL DAY, I HAVE EVER HAD ! (I am so glad I went & I could help.)


Poetry in Stone
© by Ingrid Heldt


Towers so perfect, beacons of sight,
Simple and brilliant majesty in white.

Gentler than lovers, a groom and a bride,
Everyday cathedral reaching to the light.

They shaped our horizon,
They welcomed us home.
All of that has changed now,
Our innocence is gone.

They were poetry in steel,
Poetry in stone.
How can we believe they’re really gone?

I swear I still see them on foggy days.
I feel their spirit reaching through the haze.

We mourn our loved ones,
Our daughter, our son.
We can't be the same again,
Our children are gone.

They were poetry in steel,
Poetry in stone.
How can we believe they’re really gone?

Senseless the hatred,
Nothing was won.
The world came together, but
Our towers are gone.

They were poetry in steel,
Poetry in stone.



We Will Always Remember You
© by Ingrid Heldt

The skies have seldom been so bright,
The flowers bloomed purple, yellow and white.
But on the horizon a cloud loomed gray.
Our steps were slow as we went on our way.

We silently walked up a hill.
The sights in the distance are with us still:
We looked for the towers, enveloped by haze
Two columns of smoke had taken their place.

The truth sank in, yet it didn't seem true.
And our thoughts were with you.

We will always remember you,
We will always remember you.
We will never forget that day in September,
The day we lost you.
We will always remember you.

We tried to call but the lines were down.
The news showed destruction all around.
We cried and prayed they'd find you alive,
But the day went on, the evening arrived,

And then the night when we hardly slept,
And another day that we hoped and wept.
On the third day we still wished and prayed,
But then came the rain, and it seemed too late.

Still the heroes searched on, they rescued a few,
They were looking for you.

We will always remember you,
We will always remember you.
We will carry on for the red-white-and-blue,
But it's not the same without you.
We will always remember you.



Too Soon
 © by Ingrid Heldt


You walked away,
Like any other day.
You promised, "I'll call you,
I'll see you soon."

I asked you to stay,
But you went on your way,
Never a burden,
You just left the room.

You must have known when you said goodnight
That, for me, the time could never be right.
You must have known when you left the room
You were leaving me -
Too soon.

I know you've gone
To a place that's kind,
But it's hard for me,
I'm left behind.

And though your love
Is with me all the time,
That doesn't stop the pain
In my mind.

You must have known when you said goodbye
I'd be missing you, I'd be left to cry.
You must have known what you've meant to me
You were leaving me -
Too soon.

I know you're still with me,
One day I'll wake to see:
You’re waving across the room,
Smiling my way.

And I'll know it's you,
And I will run to you,
Knowing it's not -
Too soon.

You must have known when you said goodnight
That, for me, the time could never be right.
You must have known when you left the room
You were leaving me -
Too soon.

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