LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Reader reflects on Healing Field

Dear Editor,

My wife Sherry and I visited the Healing Field at the Cannonsburg ski hill on Sunday and were moved by the display of 3,000 flags representing those lost on 9/11. We returned after dark to see what it looked like under the lights and were moved again, in an entirely different way. Those experiences prompted thoughts that I have since converted into the following poem. I thought perhaps some of your readers might identify with my reflections.

Flags On a Ski Hill at Night –
September 11, 2011

Three thousand flags displayed on a ski hill,

lined up in rows like tall stalks of corn,

standing like tombstones, mute in the darkness,

full moon above, a harvest forlorn.

 

Today in the wind they waved with conviction,

now in the night they hang limp and damp

like sails on a mast when a zephyr has faded,

or slack canvas tent flaps when armies encamp.

 

A pair of young girls darts blithely between them,

like skiers who slalom through gates made of poles,

unmindful this evening of reasons for mourning,

forgetting that these are the shrouds for lost souls.

 

They are, after all, simply flags on a hillside,

metal and cloth in ordered array,

but such is the stuff that mitigates heartache,

and such is the innocence lost on that day.

Steve Trott, Rockford resident

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

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