The smoke cleared.
A new day dawned.
We were forever changed.
As a nation. As communities.
As families. As individuals.
By shock, by grief, by sorrow. 
We watched, we cried, we prayed.
Forever marked, indelibly altered.
We marched forward united.
Shoulder to shoulder. 
Bearing the anguish. 
Proudly and humbly.
Praying for those lost.
For those who rose up.
For those who gave all.
Pledging, they’d never be forgotten.
That they did not die in vain. 
That our Nation would rise stronger.
Standing firm and indivisible.
United under God. 
In remembrance.
In gratitude. 
In freedom. 
For all time. 

Jennifer N. Fenwick | 11 September 2018