My heartfelt sympathy goes to all the friends and families of not
only Pendyala Vamsikrishna, known as “Vamsi” to all his friends,
but also to families and friends of all the other victims on that
Perhaps I had better
warn you all right here
and now, this will not
be a short post, what
I feel needs to be said
about this project and
this day is not short
it is too important to
Those of you who know me will not be surprised to find that I
have included a poem in this tribute;
it says so much, so simply.
I never met, or even knew of Vamsi before deciding to get involved
with Project 2996, in fact, to the best of my knowledge I did not
know any of the victims of that day, the fact that I live on the
other side of the world I felt might make it seem almost an
However the more I thought about this the more I became
convinced that this was the World’s day of remembrance, for
Vamsi and all the others who perished.
As I researched for details about Vamsi I learned of the tragic
suicide of his wife Prasanna a month after Sept 11, she was so
grief stricken that she felt her life was over too,
yet another victim to terrorism.
I am including a link to “a drinking buddy” of Vamsi’s as a tangible
connection to the man rather than just the name I was given by
I ask that you visit this site to learn just a little more about Vamsi,
I believe Leopold will also be doing a tribute on the day.
The information I got from my research was at first just that,
information, it was only when I dug a little deeper that the warmth
and spirit of the man started to emerge, I now have a deep feeling
of regret that I didn’t know Vamsi while he was alive.
I know that such a lot of people will be grieving the loss of loved
ones for such a senseless waste of lives today and I would just
like you all to know, you are not alone in your grief, the World
mourns with you.
This very moving simple poem says more about the spirit of recovery from
Sept 11 than most of the eloquent pieces I have read.
A Dad’s Poem.
Her hair was in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy’s day at school,
and she couldn’t wait to go.
But her Mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn’t there today.
But still her Mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that is why once more,
she tried to keep her daughter home.
The little girl went of to school
eager to tell them all.
About a Dad she never sees
a Dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the back wall,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirmed impatiently,
anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called
a student from the class.
To introduce their Daddy
as seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
for a man who wasn’t there
“Where’s her Daddy at?”
she heard a boy call out
“She probably doesn’t have one”
another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere up the back,
she heard a Daddy say,
“Looks like another dead beat Dad,
too busy to waste his day.”
The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.
With hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And from the mouth of this child,
came words incredibly unique.
“My Daddy couldn’t be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.”
“And although you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know,
all about my Daddy,
and how he loves me so.”
“He loved to tell me stories,
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.”
“We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice-cream in a cone.
and though you cannot see him,
I’m not standing here alone.”
“Cause my Daddy’s always with me,
even though we are apart.
I know because he told me,
he is forever in my heart.”
With that her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.
From up there in the crowd of Dads,
her Mother stood in tears.
As she proudly watched her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love,
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.
When she dropped her hands back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but a message clear and loud.
“I love my Daddy very much,
he is my shining star.
And if he could he’d be here,
but Heaven’s just too far.”
“You see he was a policeman,
he died just last year.
When those airplanes hit the towers,
and taught Americans to fear.”
“But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it’s like he never went away.”
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.
And to her Moms amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of Dad’s and children,
all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps just for a second,
they saw him by her side.
“I know you’re with me Daddy.”
To the silence she called out.
What happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.
None in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.
A child was blessed in that moment,
by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that Heaven is never too far.
Now if that didn’t bring a tear to you eyes just try typing it out.
Should anyone who reads this poem happen to know who wrote it I
would be most grateful to them if they would let me know.
This link will take you to the 2996 organizers for full details of tributes.