SINGAPORE — September 11, 2001.
“Oh my God.”
A day to remember.
Before rooting out the real reasons and giving the finger to culprits, stop reeling, be calm and tell yourself that reality is more complicated.
The U.S. motto “In God We Trust” is placed on all its currency.
We can’t turn back time.
We can only grieve and cherish the memories of the dead.
The Great Seal of the United States shows an American bald eagle with a ribbon in its mouth bearing the Latin words “e pluribus unum” (out of many, one). In its talons are the arrows of war and an olive branch of peace.
Panic, vulnerability and catastrophe in a global superpower.
Thousands of innocent lives lost. Thousands of families shocked.
A whole nation united.
“I pledge alliance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic of which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Time stood still when the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell.
The horrific memory of people engulfed in flames, screaming and jumping out of windows, trapped and helpless. Brave firemen rushing in, their lives at stake.
Once the tallest landmark in New York, 110 stories high, the trade center is now reduced to debris and dashed hopes.
A plane speeding towards the towers. The top of the tower engulfed in flames. Both towers collapse. Smoke and ash billowing from lower Manhattan, like a crematorium for the passed. Plane hits Pentagon.
Shockwaves reverberated the world.
Wounds take time to heal.
Thousands of futures, thousands of hopes, thousands of victims…they were not meant to die.
As President Roosevelt called the attack on Pearl Harbor: “A day of infamy.”
September 11, 2001.
This piece from Youth Journalism International’s archives was originally published on Sept. 11, 2001.