One year after the events of September 11, 2001 my ninth grade English teacher gave us an assignment: to write two pages about where we were and how we felt. This week I found a copy of the paper that I wrote, and I would like to share. The paper that I turned in had the text printed on pictures of the World Trade Center Towers both before and during the attacks, making my words a little more real.
In Remembrance of September 11th, 2001 (9/11)*
I was in the car with my Dad, because I had missed the bus. As I told him how school was going, one of his friends called on his cell phone and told him to turn on the TV. My Dad explained that he was in the car taking me to school. Then, while listening to his friends reply, he got a shocked look on his face. He then said to his friend "But aren't they two hours ahead of us??? That means everyone is at work.". After hearing a short reply, my Dad quickly hung up and started to ecplain to me. An airplane had hit The North World Trade Center Tower, killing the people on the plane, as well as those in the way of the aircraft. Just as he was telling me all of this his cell phone rand again. This time a different friend telling him the same thing. Then I heard my Dad, "They hit the Pentagon? This is bad. Very bad."/ I couldn't understand what was going on. American must be under attack, I thought. There is no other way that this many planes would crash all at the same time.
My Dad dropped me off with his words carved into my mind. As I walked inside, I began to cry. What if this was going to be World War Three or something? What if our army wasn't large enough? What if they called people I knew and loved to go and fight? I knew that I was jumping to very large conclusions and tried comforting myself, but the tears still came. I went straight to a phone and called my dad. After begging for him to come back and get me, he said he needed to get to a TV and see what was going on. I said I could go with him, but he said to stay at school and call him back later if I was still having troubles. I said ok, and waited until my reddened face turned back to its usual color before going to the offive and turned in my note that excused me from being late. I got a late slip and walked slowly to my first period class. There wasn't much time left of class, but when I walked in the TV was on and everyone was watching and listening. Some people were also working, but mostly just watching. As I watched the screen, I saw replays of airplanes crashing into these large buildings over and over and over again. The reporters were talking about what was going on and how this was no accident. These three planes must've been hijacked.
Once the tardy bell rand for second period, my teacher stood up and explained along with everything else we already knew that a fourth plane had crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. As I began to fully understand what was happening, I became even more fearful of what else could happen to us. My crude awakening had taken away my acute sense of security.
My teacher then said we could go out into the hallway and call home if we wanted to. As I walked into the hall I dialed my dad's cell phone number. We talked for a few minutes about what was going on and finally decided to hand up. I said that I might call him later, but if not then I would see him after school.
I went through the day swiftly and calmly by pushing aside my fears. I even made a few jokes about this situation, not knowing how harsh they were for the circumstances that America now had to control.
Once I arrived home I sat down to eat a snack in the kitchen. Just as I started to munch, my seventeen-year-old sister walked in from work. She asked if I understood and knew what had happened. She obviously didn't believe me and told me the events of that morning. She then told me that while at work she had had to call a woman who lives in New York to help her with a problem she was having. They had talked for a while about that morning and what it was like for each of them. This lady was working across the street from the World Trade Center and had seen the terror-stricken faces of people all around her. She also said that those inside the airliner has horrified looks on their faces. As she told me this story, my sister was almost in tears. Over the next few days, I realized how incredibly serious this circumstance what. Those hijackers had stolen a horde of people's lives by using airplanes as bombs to spread the innocent blood of our American family members. These terrorists had attacked us on our own soil. Well if they thought that we would just sit back and take it, then they were very wrong. We would fight back, and avenge our lose and injured brothers and sisters. They would pay for their atrocious crimes against America.
Now, one year later, we have fought back, losing more of our friends, but at a cost full of goodness and love. They have died protecting us along with their fellow men in the field of our Wat on Terrorism. On this one-year anniversary, people around the country and the world have paid a tribute to those who died and helped to fight back for our safety and freedom.
*A recollection of images, emotions, and events that I experienced on that momentous and historical day.