|Remembering September 11, 2001
The World Trade Center Attack, the attack on the Pentagon, the United States of America and those we love
While the attack left us without words for our loss, we must continue to remember the best in people: our friends, family and colleagues. Do not let their lives to have been wasted in vain and let us keep the love alive for them in our hearts.
September 11, 2001, 18" x 24", Acrylic
Read more about this painting and what inspired it.
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World Trade Center Attack
poem dedicated to one lost, Michael Noeth, a classmate of mine
from the State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), portrait artist in the Pentagon who died there on
September 11, 2001. It is too late for me to congratulate him
on his successes.
by Deanna Christina
in the Pentagon
things have struck my heart
Michael, my dear, was driven apart
I never knew 'til I'd heard he'd died
A love unknown that boundless cried
He was my classmate at FIT
A quirky visionary was he
I watched in awe as he globbed his palette
A rich expense which, well, I couldn't afford it
shimmered jealous yet soon did lust
An unannounced thought which I never did trust
Days got busy and the past escaped
I continued, not knowing that the future'd be raped
I ignored it and lived my life,
Filled with soaps and sweetheart strife
'Til one birthday, when the news struck cold
A place unknown caused death untold
in my thoughts, kisses are blown
To the parents of, one unknown
A friend, I never had, in thee
Yet, I'll remember, your sweet theory
will spread the paint thickly carefree
And refrain from being cheap and skimpy
You lived fully and from you I'll learn
The artistic life of a passionate yearn
Painter in the Pentagon
So drastically wrong
Freedom's Call, Freedom's Fall
Four American eagles fell
Out of the bright blue sky.
Four American birds of prey,
Falling swiftly through dawning day,
Bringing a sickening Judgment day
To two jewels on the Eastern shore.
Four fires burned where they fell,
Tainting the bright blue sky.
One in the center, proclaiming the fall,
One in the wild, the dead heroes' hall,
Two joined together, most fearsome of all,
All hell stunned the people to silence.
Four bells rang out in the still,
Filling the smoke- hazed blue sky.
Clean and clear, into heaven they ring,
Sheer and strong is the hell that they bring,
Pure and plain is the song now to sing-
A song that slowly gains volume.
Four, and the world was forever changed,
Reminded, united we must stand.
Together, we stand against what we regret
In concert, at last, all the stages are set.
United! What happened? Why did we forget?
It took horror to open our eyes.
Four is too many, too many to fall,
Fall from God's grace into hell.
Four that we should have had thought to prevent,
Not till we're burned to the fight give assent.
Remember the lesson- don't let freedom be spent,
For the fight was ours from the very first day.
Cassandra Knauth, 2002
THE AIR SMELLED LIKE AUTUMN
saw the ball of gray smoke violently rise into the sky. In
that shape of smoke I could swear I saw a giant face with
his cheeks fully puffed out as if he were trying to blow away
from the scene but the nature of his act would not allow him
to. So he raced his way towards the people with great force,
making no excuses.
walked the streets the next day and looked at faces of passersby.
Such serious and sad looks from almost everyone I looked at.
For the first time we were all together in mourning. We all
agreed that what had happened affected each and every one
of us tremendously. Somehow we still avoided looking into
each others eyes as usual but this time it was for fear that
the pain would be so great that we would break down and cry.
all too painful. It's tough to deal with this great loss.
We've lost so many lives. People we don't know and some we
do know and we've lost them. We might have sat next to them
on the trains or walked past each other every morning, maybe
we had been in an elevator with them. We might have exchanged
a few words about the weather or something. And now they're
gone. They're not with us anymore. They've disappeared from
sight. I'm sorry I didn't catch their names. I'm sorry I didn't
decide to keep some sort of friendship with them.
streets felt quiet today and even somewhat lonely and desolate.
It felt like a holiday where most people stay home but it
wasn't a holiday. I felt strange. I felt like someone in my
family had passed away. I felt like my heart had been ripped
out of my chest. There was emptiness, a void where once there
had been a sense of security. I felt depressed and mentally
exhausted. I dressed in black without even noticing I had.
I walked slowly with my head low, like if I were walking behind
a long line of coffins.
made the sign of the cross every morning since when in the
past it had never crossed my mind. I've prayed every night
before I go to sleep when before I never bothered. I made
it a point to go to church this Sunday and plan to go every
Sunday when then it really didn't matter to me. My life has
changed. I'm not the same person I was a week ago. I don't
think I'll ever be.
hung the American flag out on our doors and out our windows,
a symbol of our country, freedom, a symbol of our unity as
a country with great hope for the future. We are America and
we will always be America. America is a state of mind. It
is the people who make America what it is and what it stands
for. We, as a free people, will never disappear.
Our freedom will never be taken from us.
wear a small flag on a button on my blouse. It was given to
me when my grandfather passed away. He came to this country
from Cuba in the forties and he always told me that America
is the greatest country in the world. There's no other country
like it and there will never be one like it. I have to tell
you that this rings true in all our hearts today.
the air smelled like autumn for the first time. Amidst all
the smoke, the tears and broken hearts, it felt like autumn
was pushing its way into the city to let us know that nothing
stops life from continuing. As long as we live, as long as
we move towards a better life and as long as we are here on
this planet, the seasons will change and we will move forward.
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The New Colossus,
from Emma Lazarus' Copy Book, 1883
Courtesy of American Jewish Historical Society
The New Colossus.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightening, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
September 11, 2001, 18" x 24", Acrylic
I received an email from an art student in Louisiana who wanted to know why
I painted this picture and what was I feeling when I painted it. This is my
response to that email.
I decided to paint this picture because the events of 9/11/01 struck me pretty hard. I live in New York city so the World Trade Center was part of everyday life. You can almost always see them whereever you are. If you take the Staten Island Ferry they are there. I also spent a lot of time sketching around New York and the city skyline felt very close to me. To have it ripped apart in such a deliberately cruel awful act was very difficult to grasp - especially by some people who seem so far away and don't seem to understand (or want to take the time to understand) what makes up New York city and America in general. Also I found out someone I had a lot of classes with in school who was a painter got killed in the Pentagon. Very ironic to think of a portrait painter so successful dying in such a senseless way.
There was an exhibit at the Society of Illustrators about the "Prevailing Human Spirit" re: those events. I wanted to participate as an artist and funds were raised from the exhibit to help those affected. I wanted to contribute in some way and try to capture the essence of the tragedy and the closeness that people felt to each other during that time. Some people have commented that my painting on the web is not as clear as they would like. So I'm not sure if you can see it or not. The painting is slightly 3D in texture. I put a plane going into the Pentagon in the smoky clouds. In one building is a firefighter rescuing someone hurt. In the other, two people embrace to symbolize how the people in the building must have clung together at that time and yet also to show reassurance that we can get past this, which is why I put a heart above it. In all the tragedy, love is what will heal us and enable us to move on and rebuild from ourselves. The statue of liberty is the witness too far away to help or stop it from happening. Ironically, she always opened her doors to others and now she witnesses the horror and also greatness of humanity. In some buildings are people clinging together in grief or love or hope and the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building cling together to show how they're like the first bigger buildings in New York and like parents watching their children destroyed (and what could just as easily have been them).
So these were basically my intentions. It's a subject that was very difficult to paint. I read through lots of articles to inspire me and they were so depressing that it was hard to get inspired. It's hard to make a "masterpiece" from something so awful. I just wanted to try and get as much in as I could. I don't know whether or not I was successful. I also think the events are too close for people to really distance themselves from the emotion when judging the painting (possibly including myself!).