Chris McDaniel, Georgia

Editor’s Note: The essay below was written in 2001 and appears in the self-published book, Through Our Eyes: A Tapestry of Words and Images in Response to September 11. Printed and distributed in 2002, the book was the result of an independent, volunteer documentary project organized by a journalist and several friends. The author’s bio was written in 2002 and has not been updated. 

CHRIS McDANIEL
Marietta, Georgia 

Christopher M. McDaniel, III, is not one to sit still. The 27-year-old chiropractor – “single, no kids … yet” – was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but spent many years in Scottsdale, Arizona. Today, he lives in Marietta, Georgia, but plans to soon return to Scottsdale. McDaniel has traveled through every state in America, with the exception of Alaska. He’s also explored Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Beyond traveling, his interests include scuba diving, golf and snow skiing. On Sept. 11, Christopher was “in bed watching the tragedy unfold like a horror movie.” He wrote his poem Sept. 22 after receiving a call from his mother at 3 a.m. (“I can’t believe you haven’t written a poem about it yet,” she exclaimed.). Christopher says he often expresses his emotions through poetry. “This time I hope that my expression represents the emotions of millions.”

Here Comes the Eagle

A planet goes around and ’round
Ideals change with the times

A plane has crashed without a sound
Below, we stare like mimes

In awe we look to heaven
As the fires burn within

It’s awkward how it seems so real
I’d swear I’m sleeping in

A nightmare is unfolding
Right before my crying eyes

Like lightening now, as three more planes
Have fallen from our skies

Rescue crews, with fearless souls
March straight into harms way

Though thousands scream in terror
They’ve got just one thing to say

“Are you all right, how can I help?”
They climb the doomed twin towers

And without warning, both crash down
Foundations lose their power

Now trapped among the ruins
Women, children, men and more

Police and Fire ‘hero’ crews
Entombed, but why, what for?

A man who wore a suit to work
A lady in a dress?

Did they unleash this hatred?
Was it us who caused this mess?

No, these were just the victims
Thousands gone with no remorse

So now we form a system
Millions stand a steadfast course

Resolve to end this tragedy
Restore our solemn creed

Dissolve this evil clan, we must
Our world will share this deed

An enemy without a face
Lay hiding in their caves

For as they tried to take ours
It’s their freedom we’ll enslave

But from these acts of violence
An ‘eagle’ flew unscathed

A statue still stands proudly
She defends us still today

And in our darkest hour
From the concrete, smoke and steel

Our nation lends a helping hand
A warmth the whole world feels

It makes us even prouder
As we fly old glory high

To know what each thread represents
To know the reasons why

America so strong and proud
Will rise from New York’s dust

Then faith will be restored
Along with virtue, hope and trust.

May God be with those who lost their lives on September 11th. May God comfort those who lost friends and family. May God strengthen us and watch over us all.

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