This is a paper written last month by our 16yr old son, Peter, as an assignment to remember the events of 9/11. It may not be grammatically perfect, but we were pretty proud of how it turned out and wanted to share it with you. (I think he’s got a pretty impressive teacher!)
Remembering the Fallen
The screams echoed off of the nearby walls and were heard by all who stopped there, along with the billowing smoke which could be smelt from a mile away, and the fire, which blazing so unbearably hot, caused those that were trapped inside to jump from their scorching deaths high above the ground. The falling of debris and the 200 scorched and torn, yet still living bodies caused a great and catastrophic panic to spread throughout the large city of New York. The unforgettable tragedy that occurred on that exceedingly sad and yet celebrated day of September 11, in the year 2001 affected not just America but the whole world. Estimates of 2,996 were killed throughout the entirety of this whole ordeal.,2,977 victims and the 19 perpetrators. 372 of these victims did not even have a United States citizenship. There were four planes that were hijacked on 9/11 two of which hit the World Trade Center’s twin towers and a third that barely missed its mark, which hit the Pentagon. The fourth, however, was deprived from it’s intended destination by the passengers who had heard of the other attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. These passengers, though knowing that their fate could be nothing but absolute death, braved rushing the cockpit of their assailants to save countless other lives that would have been brutally slaughtered. Although these terrorists had multiple weapons they were overwhelmed and thus forced the plane out of the sky and into a large field, but their destination was never fully known. Some debate that it was headed for the white house, but others say that they were possibly the back up for the Pentagon attack. Though there are many theories we will never know the final location that this particular hijacking was intended for.
Imagine that it’s your 25th wedding anniversary and you decide to take your gorgeous wife on a grand trip to tour New York City. You’ve visited all the great sites in the Big Apple. You’ve visited the Empire State Building, Madison Square, Central Park, and you even had enough cash to catch a boat ride to Liberty Island and have your picture taken with the Statue of Liberty. Everything has gone perfectly according to your plans. You’ve done everything you wanted to do, only one more place to visit. So the next morning at around 6:30 you wake up, pack your bags, grab a cab and head to the last place you desire to see. You arrive at the World Trade Center at around 7:30 and you walk in with a grand smile on your face greeting everyone that walks by, your beautiful wife walking along side you, and everything in the world seems to be just perfect. You get in the elevator after a long wait and head to the top to see the spectacular view. You’ve reached the top and you’re standing there with your wife knowing that you’ll both remember this day for the rest of your lives. As your looking at your wife you notice a faint sound but don’t take much notice. After a few seconds however the sound has grown increasingly louder and you turn around just in time to see a large airliner crash a few stories beneath you. In a panic, you turn to grab your wife and escape but to your horror you find that she, along with several floors beneath where she stood, is plummeting towards the ground, and the elevator that you used to reach the top was no longer connected and it too was falling. In case you haven’t guessed, this last “perfect day” of your get away happens to be September 11, 2001 and you have just succumbed to the biggest loss in your life and quite possibly the loss of your own. Though I have never heard of any living, or perhaps even deceased, individual with this particular story, I do know that there are many individuals that have a story similar to this one. They are all connected in only one way and this one factor resulted in the deaths of their loved ones, family members, and friends. Some were employees that were called to work that day. Some were visitors from other countries or states like our fictional couple. Yet others were individuals that lost their lives on the ground, such as the multiple firefighters killed, NYPD, or EMT personnel. There is no need to ask if 9/11 has been the most tragic and catastrophic day in all of the United States and quite possibly the Worlds history. To America this has been the largest terrorist attack that there has ever been and I pray that there ever will be. This was a day of great loss and at the same time it was a day of great learning for American defense. All who call themselves Americans will remember 9/11. We view this as a horror that could have been prevented but was not. So now we will do everything that is in American power to prevent this from ever happening again.
He has spent years learning and waiting for this day and now it’s finally his turn to travel to the great land of America. He’s about to embark upon his grand adventure as his teacher pulls him aside and speaks with him for a moment. When they are finished speaking he jumps into the vehicle with his fellow classmates and they head off to the airport. As the friends go their separate ways and are separated onto their aircrafts they say their goodbyes and continue with their own segment of the journey. The young man boards his plane. So far his flight has been incredibly enjoyable and he loves it but he doesn’t really know, or care, about the other passengers that are aboard. The only thing that’s going through his mind is the conversation and inspiration that his teacher had given him a few hours before. The young man at long last voiced to his comrades what their teacher had spoken to him and this is what he said. “ My friends, as we left our teacher told me that we are doing what is right in the eyes of Allah. That to attack the great serpent and die for the cause is the most honorable thing we will ever do. He said do not fear for we will be greatly rewarded for what we are about to do.” After he had finished speaking he locked the controls and they rammed the World Trade Center, causing nearly 3,000 deaths that day. The leader of these 19 companions was Osama Bin Laden. By now it is obvious to you that this is also occurring on 9/11 and that this story is, again, just a metaphor. But this is most likely close to their story as well. To those men that forced their own aircraft into the twin towers and the pentagon they did not view it as cruel, vile, and horrid, but they viewed it as just, pure, and honorable. The tragedy that befell America that day, to the Islamic states, was actually a great and glorious day, telling America that they were not feared. They were also telling America that they realized that she was weak and that they were willing to kill themselves to destroy her. These terrorists actually believed that they were doing the will of Allah, their god, when they murdered those thousands of innocent people. And still today they wish to crush our great and powerful nation. Only time will tell if they ever will. To them that day will always be remembered as well. Not as a brutal slaughtering, but as a great and glorious victory.
When the World Trade Center was hit and destroyed it did not just affect America or the Islamic estates, but it affected the entire worlds trade diplomatic system. Russia, Great Britain, India, China, Japan, and Africa were all greatly affected. Russia was so moved by the attack that the Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote a message of consolation at a makeshift memorial wall to the international victims of the September 11 attacks near the World Trade Center site in November 2001. After the attack, prices skyrocketed. It wasn’t just the prices of goods, but the prices of the lives of innocent people. For as America moved in for revenge against the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, thousands of U.S. soldiers died and hundreds of innocent Arabs were killed in the crossfire. Although the 9/11 attacks and retaliation against the Alkaida network were not half as devastating as World War 1&2, it will still be remembered by the entire world as a tragic time.
Now that all the smoke has cleared, the damage been restored, and the main perpetrator of this tragedy has been eliminated permanently, the world has moved on and rebuilt. But there should never be one person to forget that horrid 11th day of September in the year 2001. I know I never will, and if you ask me why, this is what I will tell you. “This is the day we set aside to remember those who died, to remember the families of those that were innocently slaughtered, this is the day that we remember the fallen.”
William Peter Reed