Sunday, May 15, 2022

"Pieces Falling" by Ann Van Hine


By Ann Van Hine

Navigating 9/11 with Faith, Family, and the FDNY

One woman's journey

Ann Van Hine is a friend and fellow member of the North Jersey Christian Writers Group (NJCWG). She is the widow of a fallen 9/11 firefighter. I just finished reading Ann's book and would like to take this opportunity to highly recommend it to others. "Pieces Falling," tells Ann's story of navigating the very personal loss of her husband, Bruce--a New York City firefighter who died on 9/11--amid the very public tragedy that shocked the world. 

Her book is published by Illumiex and is available at

Since I'm featuring Ann's book about 9/11 today, I'll stay with the theme and post a poem that I wrote shortly after that horrific event. More than twenty years have passed but that day still weighs heavily on our hearts.


Written in the wake of the September 11, 2001, Attack on America


We’ve been told God doesn’t belong in our schools

He doesn’t belong in public buildings

not in the town square, not at baseball games

We may not pray to Him in our classrooms

His Name has been shushed from graduations

Our witness at work has been silenced

Crèches and menorahs have been removed from government properties

and replaced with roly-poly Santas, tinseled trees and dreidels

Christmas and Hanukkah have been neutered

with wishes of “season’s greetings,” “happy holidays”

We’ve been closeted by the separation of church and state

in this free country founded as a safe haven for religious freedom


but when those 767s flew into those magnificent towers on September 11th

when those great towers imploded, when thousands died tragically

and shockwaves of grief and terror riveted our planet

suddenly our churches filled

God’s name arose boldly on banners all across the land

It was posted, plastered, scrawled, and spoken

prayed to by the President, our leaders, newsmen

It appeared on school message boards

bumper stickers, lapel pins, buttons

It was superimposed upon flag decals glued to our windowpanes

It was emblazoned upon our chests on patriotic T-shirts

and it appeared over and over and over on subway prayer walls

along with Scotch-taped photos of those who were missing

Thousands proclaimed it loud and clear

at candlelight vigils and a prayer service at Yankee Stadium

and we all sang it with tears

“God Bless America,” our truer anthem


If we’ve been complacent; if we’ve swept Him aside

packed Him away in attic trunks

with things we thought we wouldn’t need anymore

He’s waiting with arms outstretched

love streaming from His eyes

and we need Him to heal our shattered hearts


Oh, let’s keep the “God Bless” in our “America”

and Americans, let us “Bless God”

O let us never let go of Him again


Maude Carolan

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