Daryl Bateman remembers vividly the day the World Trade Center fell.
“It was a terrible day,” he said. “I was teaching at the time, and I was for some reason sick that particular day. I turned on the TV and the first thing I saw was the plane going into the first tower.”
The Hutchinson man and former Ridgewater professor watched coverage of the 9/11 attacks and could feel himself becoming sicker and sicker physically throughout that day. He wasn’t able to sleep that night and resolved to write about it the next morning.
“I write poetry, and the only way sometimes I can show my emotions is through poetry,” Bateman said.
The finished poem is titled “The Awakening.” It took him a day and a half to write it, and he edited it 30 times. Recently, the poem was turned into a CD that had Civil War-era music playing in the background. The track is scheduled to be played on radio stations at KDUZ, Glencoe and Mankato on the anniversary of 9/11.
Bateman hoped to have his poem aired on 4-6 radio or TV stations this year, and more in the future. His ultimate goal is for the families of all the victims to have a copy of the poem. His motivation for wanting the poem played on air is the lack of remembrance outside of New York.
“There should be a way for the people of Minnesota and throughout this country to recognize these people (9/11 victims), because every year New York does it,” Bateman added. “But we don’t do much of anything. There’s a few TV blurbs once in a while, but no radio stations ever bring it up.”
The original poem, which was printed on parchment paper, has pictures of firemen going into the towers. The pictures have since faded with time but are still visible up close.
“I keep these in my house, and my kids each have one,” Bateman said. “I’ve sold some. I’ve given them away as gifts.”
The 9/11 poem was included in a book of Bateman’s published poetry in 2010. He said the ending is his favorite part, as it sums up what happened to the U.S. after the attacks.
“’For God is our faithful leader, our comforter, and our guide. He will awaken this mighty nation with his loving spirit — far and wide,’ he read. “I think that pretty much tells how it was going to end up, and it did.”