Don Williams
Photo by Justin Williams

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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Sept. 11, '01--100 views and voices one year later
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   09/06/2002)

Someone is screaming in the cockpit.

They told us to keep our seats.

I just called to say I love you.

I just called to say hug Jules and Iris.

I just called to say love Jesus.

Have you heard the news?

Those planes.

Those burning towers.



The Lord is my Shepherd?.

Let's roll.

Death to America.

Doorway to Paradise.

Praise be to Allah.

What street is this?

People like dusty statues?.

Paper snow.

Ashes like rain.

Don't panic.

Keep walking northwest.

Cover your nose.

Cover your ears.

Cover your eyes.

You can't go in there.

Is it still happening?

They were going after the White House.

Why can't the Pentagon defend itself?

Hide Dick Cheney.

Hide Congress.

Hide the Supreme Court.

Hide Alan Greenspan.

Hide me?.

Sissy's gone.

My baby's dead.

Daddy isn't coming home any more.

The priest asked ME why?

In my dreams I reach into green radar screens and pluck those planes from the sky.

It's the day the world ended.

The day people rained from the sky.

The day the new millennium began.

God removed his protection from America.

World War III began.

War without end.

The Titanic of our times.

Pearl Harbor.

Sodom and Gomorrah.

The end is near.


Why do they hate us?

Why didn't we know?

An attack for no reason.

A senseless act of violence.

Nuke somebody.

Have you seen my Bobby Windslow, age 55, blue eyes, brown hair? Last seen walking near Tower One?

Have you seen my Alfie Mandelbaum?

My Mary Loman?

My Jesse Wright?

Have you?

It's a wakeup call.

Beginning of the next Crusade.

The day New York seethed and burned.

The day Rudy Giuliani redeemed himself.

Ordinary people were heroic.

The day we all stayed home.

The day patriotism was reborn.

The day bombing Afghanistan became inevitable.

Attacking Iraq became feasible.

A direct result of the Gulf War.

Of oppressing the Palestinians.

Of coddling Saudi Arabia.

Of ignoring early warnings.

Of going it alone.

Bill Clinton's to blame.

George Bush is to blame.

George W. Bush is to blame.

Henry Ford is to blame.

Texas oil.

The Wright Brothers?

Kill Osama bin Laden.

Death to the Taliban.

George W. Bush's finest hour.

Saddam knew.

The Jews knew.

The president knew.

Who knew?

A blow to the stock market.

A blow to the economy.

Pretext for tax breaks for the wealthy.

The death of environmentalism.

Will this sell widgets?

Those buildings were ugly anyway.

Highest ratings.

A time to reflect.

It could have been worse.

Where were you?

We brought it on ourselves.

Don't give in to fear.

Don't give in to hatred.

Don't become the enemy.

The day New York awoke to compassion.

The day we learned to love New York.

The day we learned to slow down and live.

The day we turned to one another.

The day we turned to God.

The day we learned there is no God.

The day God revealed himself in shared human compassion.

An aching wound in the heart of America.

An aching wound.

An aching.