On this 20th anniversary of terrorist attacks on our country, it seems fitting to submit the poem I wrote and dedicated to my former East High student, Jonn Edmunds.

Read at his funeral, I honored his sacrificial death as one of the first Army Rangers killed in Afghan War’s opening salvo. Jonn was killed in a helicopter accident while landing in Pakistan on Oct. 19, 2001. Just one month after the attack, our military forces counterattacked.

Former Senator Enzi read the poem, “So This Is How It Feels,” on the Senate floor two weeks later on Nov. 2, with his own kind words in tribute to all American soldiers killed on Americans’ behalf.

In a dreadful irony, Jonn was one of the first two soldiers killed, and, 20 years later, another young Wyoming Marine, Rylee McCollum, was one of the last 13 killed in Kabul Airport by an Isis suicide car bombing.

The cycle of defensive war casualties in maintaining our country’s freedoms and rights continues its spin … and, sadly, the raw feelings are the same … and alas, continually.

“So this is how it feels

To know the pain of war

The ineffable sorrow

Deep in your gut

Beyond tears

Beyond consciousness

"Elements of disgust,

Horror and anger;

And finally – fear,

All mixed and meshed inside

"So this is how it feels

To mourn native sons

The inscrutable sadness

For ones so young

Their futures laid bare –

Barren, yet not futile

"Elements of patriotism, pride

Honor and heroism

And the thoughtful thankfulness for their service

All conglomerate there

"So this is how it feels

To know the dark of evil

The vague uncertainty of its source

Made real in the shed blood of our own

"Elements of emptiness

Apprehension and instability

Rocking our faith –

And finally – that fear again

"Yet the good will win out

Our fears will form into faith

History will record how America

Though humbled now

Held its course

As She has through other wars

When She knew

– all too well –

How it felt.”

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