September 11 2001

This is what I had to say on that day. I was 15 but even then I knew I would want to remember and be able to convey to my children some day what that felt like what it was to us sitting there in shock.

Today at 7:46 Missouri or Central time, 1 plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Sixteen minutes later, a second plane hit the 2nd of the twin towers. Ten to fifteen minutes later, I sat with my American Government class as we watched the live coverage of what was happening half a country away. As we sat there talking and joking, it was obvious that the severity of what had happened was not quick to sink in. In fact, it wasn’t until we saw first one and then both towers collapse, like a scene from “Independence Day,” that it really hit us. And when we heard about the Pentagon and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania we were a much more sober group.

Through the rest of the day the teachers struggled for control, but every time something that looked new came up on the muted television screens, all attention was drawn to the pictures. The pictures that showed debris, smoke, flames, and worst of all bodies flying through the air. As we watched, we talked about the families of the victims who didn’t know if their loved ones were alive or dead when it looked as though no one could survive. I know I wasn’t the only with tears in my eyes.

When I got home, I continued to watch the coverage. When the President came on, I was heartened. However, what he didn’t say, said more than words could. The pain in his eyes was accompanied by determination. I hope that whether or not you support him any other time, you will stand behind him now, because no matter what, he needs us now. If you’re liberal Democrat, or conservative Republican, Green Peace, or Anarchist, this country needs to provide a united front to the world and our foes.

In closing I choose to quote FDR in saying, “This day will live in infamy.” I know I won’t soon forget it.

And I haven’t. I’d like to send you all over to Dana who has a much better tribute than I ever could for her wonderful husband and other firefighters out there who answered the call and went to ground zero after the attack.


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