A Tribute to 9/11

Photo by Jose Jiminez

Photo by Jose Jiminez

We Remember

The Photojournalism and Newspaper students journaled about Sept. 11, 2001

I didn’t connect that today was 9/11 until I looked at the date on the computer. Terror across city, people calling in sheer terror. It was the first attack from another country on U.S. soil ever since the bombings of Pearl Harbor. Why? How could anybody do that? It caused panic around the world. After listening to this for four years it still gives me the chills. So many lives were lost. So many hearts were crushed. So many heroes were killed. They killed dads, moms, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, and cousins. It has always been a fear of mine; dying. It just really puts things into perspective. Every day could really be the last day you see someone.

You could feel how the victims felt for a moment. My heart feels like it stops when I think about the absolute helplessness that crushed these people literally and figuratively. I don’t really remember anything, but my mother always says I came home saying something bad happened today. I can’t imagine what those people were feeling. It makes me feel helpless. Men and women started to jump or fall out of the windows. The victims in the building saw this as a chance to save themselves, or others just it as a less painful way of dying. I can only imagine what was going through these jumper’s minds, burning minds, and running minds.

My mom had it on the T.V. and she was crying. My family was staring at the television in awe and they looked scared. My dad promptly told me to be quiet. I sensed fear in his voice that I never heard in my father’s tone before. My uncle was in New York at the time. His birthday was that day. I remember an image of one of the shorter buildings burning. My dad sat glued to the T.V. screen watching the smoke rise. It seemed like a scene out of a movie. My whole school went into the church and said the rosary. I didn’t know what was going on and I asked Matthew. He said, “A lot of people went to God.”

I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to be the 911 operator. To try to comfort all of these people calling from inside the buildings would be such a hard thing to do. What could you say? They probably heard people literally burn to death. It is beyond words how much respect I have for the first responders. We will never forget what they did for our country. It’s incredible that the people were helping others physically and emotionally throughout the chaos. Men and women put their lives on the line to save others, record history, and keep the memory of the victims alive. Those people were so brave, and I respect all of them for being so brave. I’m getting goosebumps like crazy. It’s so scary, I felt like I was going to cry when the lady asked if she was going to die.

I think it’s crazy that a lot of the kids one or two years younger won’t remember it at all. It shows that even now, so many years later it still is a major event that is meaningful to even people who cannot remember that day. I think that it is something our generation has become more detached from since we all were so young. Healing should never mean forget because when you forget it gives history the chance to repeat itself. I just really wish that this never happened.


Photos courtesy of National Geographic: