We Will Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

M. Sandra Babcock

© Copyright 2001 by M. Sandra Babcock



“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas

The defiant poetry of Dylan Thomas resonates a deafening sound on this day of September 11, 2001. In the past, these words summoned strength buried deep within when faced with life’s difficulties. So it is on this day. We, the People will not go gentle into that good night but will move forward with a quiet, methodical vigilance. We will tread softly, wielding a big stick.

 We will not go gentle into that good night. Our people are a complex, diverse nation, but united in thought and deed. The lines blur into a multitude of colors, personalities, nationalities and creeds that epitomize America. We, the People of the United States stand individually yet proceed together. In order to form a more perfect union, we help those in need; feel for those in pain; we give. It is our way.

We will not go gentle into that good night. The acts of terrorism have beckoned at our door for years. Perhaps we were ignorant to think we could and would thwart all evil from invading our homeland. That misguided thought has vanished. Domestic tranquility must be ensured; the common defense provided. Our resolve is strengthened, our appetite for justice, whetted.

Americans possess untold determination when overcoming insurmountable odds. As those who have hit us hard in the past know, the giant beast of patriotism has awakened; the monster of defense aroused. The jolt was treacherous. Those who met a catastrophic fate at the hands of terrorists were a part of us. It matters not if we knew them ­ they were Americans doing their jobs, going to work, home or taking that deserved vacation. You see it makes no difference ­ we blend, as Americans do. In unison we cry from sea to shining sea despite all that divides us. We, the People will promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

 You, who hide your violence behind religion, will find this concept hard to fathom; you, who teach your children there is glory in destruction will find our Constitution difficult to understand but therein our strength is harbored. Out of the rubble, we will emerge. From the destruction, we will rebuild. This is what we teach our children. They will carry this lesson into the millennium and beyond.

 You are now our focus, our driving force; you have a country full of resolute people who have lost thousands of our own by your hand.

We will rage, rage against the dying of their light . . .

We, the People, will not let their lives go gentle into that good night.

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