I am 16 years old and I live in Australia.
My September 11 Story
I woke up at about 7am on Wednesday, September 12 (September 11 in the U.S.). I did what I normally do in the mornings and turned on the TV to the Channel 7 Morning News and was going to wait for the weather report so I could decide on what I would wear to school that day.
The first story I saw on the news was some footage from CNN showing a plane flying into one of the WTC towers. At the time, I knew nothing at all about the WTC. 7:10am is normally the time when the weather report is shown and when that time came around, I was waiting patiently to see what the forecast was while watching the shocking footage. 7:30am came and went and I was getting impatient. I looked at the weather outside and got dressed, wearing what I hoped would be comfortable for today’s weather.
Instead of checking my email as I normally did, I returned to th TV to see if there was a weather report on one of the channels. I tried the three main channels. Channel 7, Channel 9 and Channel 10. Channels 7 and 9 both show news programs in the morning, but Channel 10 broadcasts cartoons. As I flicked channels, I saw that all of them were showing what had happened in New York and Washington. That’s when I knew it was serious. I watched TV until it was time to go to school.
When I got to school, everyone was talking about the terrorist attack. We all were trying to talk at the same time, sharing what information we had. Classes continued as normal, as if nothing had happened. A friend of mine, Cathi Lawson, and I skipped our second class and went to her house to watch the news. Her parents were out so we had the place to ourselves. It was Cath’s birthday yesterday (September 11 in Australia), so we ate birthday cake while trying to absorb the new information we saw. Soon, Cath’s mum came home and found us. She didn’t care that we were skipping school, in fact she sat down and watched the TV with us.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. One plane flying straight into the first tower, making a fireball explode out the other side. Then another place approached the other tower. As it got closer, it tilted to the left and looked as if it might miss. But then it hit and created another fireball. Soon after that, one of the towers collapsed. I don’t know if the replay was in slow motion or not, but the tower seemed to fall so slowly. Then the remaining tower collapsed as well. People were screaming down the streets, covered from head to toe in ash. I just couldn’t believe it. Cathi and I went back to school, and our day continued as normal.
That night after talking to my finacee, David, online, I went back to the TV.
It was the same footage over and over again. Mostly the second plane crashing into the south tower. Over and over again. After the third repetition, I burst into tears. It finally all hit me, the extent of the event. Hundreds of people had died in that second, and I was a witness to it. I hadn’t seen it in person, obviously, but I’d still seen it like millions of others around the world.
I couldn’t stop sobbing, even though my throat was becoming sore. All those people that had died had family and friends that loved them dearly. I don’t know what I’d do if someone close to me died.
Then I saw something on the TV that I will never forget.
People were jumping from the top of the towers. Why were they jumping? They were falling to their deaths. Why? Then the news presenter answered my silent question. When the planes crashed, the fuel in them had started fires that raged at 2000 degrees F. Instead of being burned alive, they jumped off the building and fell to their death. How could they do that? But then I thought about it. If I was in the same situation, I would have jumped too, instead of being burnt to a crisp.
Soon, the channels returned to normal programs. Australia had lost interest in the terrorist attacks. I felt disappointed. Already people were starting to forget about what had happened. But I didn’t forget. And now, about three and a half months since September 11, I’m remembering what happened in my own special way.
Currently, the war on terror is still raging on in Afghanistan with the United States leading the way to find Osama bin Laden. I pray that the war will soon come to a close. In reality, I doubt it will end in the near future, but you never know what will happen. There is always hope.
God Bless America