Thoughts aboutSept. 11, 2001 collected by Youth Journalism International students in interviews and in some cases, offered in personal essays by the YJI students themselves:
There was a stiffness in the air. It was a day withoutsmiles.
– Kiara Christensen, American high school student living in SaudiArabia
Iwas in my first year at university. One of my friends often read the news fromCNN so the morning after that (when the event took place, it was night in VietNam due to time zones), she told me about it. My very first reaction was kindanaïve. I was like, “How come?” because at that time, I believed the U.S. is abig and powerful country and it could not be attacked just like that. And you know,there was no sign of it. Actually, I have never thought of terrorism beforethat. To be exact, the term “terrorism” had not been popularized beforeSeptember 11. Now it is prevalent.
Idon’t think Viet Nam received much of an impact because until now, the conceptof “terrorism” is still foreign to us. But for those superpowers, in EU forexample, there will be attacks.
HoaTrinh, 27, an English teacher from Ha Noi, Viet Nam
I was watching how the reporters worked near the towers,risking with their lives, giving us information about what was happening. Maybeon that day I decided to become a journalist.
– Narine Daneghyan, college student and YJI reporter in Yerevan, Armenia
The way that everyone came together after the attack wassimply amazing. People helped one another in any way they could, no questionsasked, no second thoughts. People realized after 9/11that anyone can be a heroby helping those in need.
– Mariah Pulver, collegestudent and YJI reporter in Fort Worth, Texas
His eyes met the bodyof man jumping off of the 80th floor. Not knowing exactly what todo, the father and son sat and watched the building continue to burn,witnessing the deaths of many people escaping a fiery end by instead jumping totheir fate. “It was like every minute people were jumping, one after another.”
–From an account told by ThomasPanevino, a college student in Florida who was a Manhattan seventh grader on9/11
The twin towers have fallen, but not myfaith in a better world. May God bless the souls of the innocent dead. As aMuslim I believe they are all in heaven now as martyrs.
–Jessica Elsayed, Egyptian college student in Ohio
You don’t want to wakeup a sleeping giant. Under Clinton, no invasions by U.S., only airstrikes.After September 11, two invasions under the name of “revenge.” The main impact,as everybody knows, is the segregation of the Muslim community in the US.
– Giang Nguyen, 17-year-old high schoolstudent from Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Even with the naïveté of seven-year-olds,we could understand that the severity of the events were great enough that itwould change not only America, but the world, forever.
– Evan Pogue, American high schoolstudent and YJI reporter living in Saudi Arabia
There really aren’t any words to describehow shocking it was. There still aren’t.
– Maurice Murdock, an advertiser working inNew York City
It wasn’t until one of our teachers sharedan essay from a former student – a boy who had lived in Manhattan and survivedthe attack on New York – that the lesson of 9/11 sunk in.
–Cresonia Hsieh, high school student and YJI reporter in Florida
When I look at 9/11, I try to think of allthose individuals. All the people they met and touched, all the lives theyaffected and the individuals they loved and cared for – husbands, wives, sonsand daughters.
– Adam Kelly, high school student and YJI reporter inTorbay, England
No true Muslim or Arab, or any decent human beingfor that matter, would defend what happened that day. If the attacks wereorchestrated and conducted by extremists, then there is no reason to punish anentire population or ethnic group for it… It is time to put those differences aside, open our eyes tothe truth and pray for all the lost souls and victims of 9/11, whatever theirethnicity, their color, their religion, their beliefs or their sex.
– Lama Tawakkol, high school student and YJI reporter in Cairo,Egypt
My heart froze as I realized that some of the tiny dots onthe television screens were actually people jumping to their deaths. Normalpeople like my parents who had just gone to work that morning, expecting anormal day. This was not a movie.
– Caroline Nelissen, college student and YJI reporter in Amsterdam, TheNetherlands
YJI reporters who contributed to this collection but are not named above are Emma Bally in Brooklyn, New York and Thuy Le in Ha Noi, Vietnam
Filed under: 9-11, 9/11, Adam Kelly, Armenia, Caroline Nelissen, Cresonia Hsieh, Egypt, England, Evan Pogue, Jessica Elsayed, Lama Tawakkol, Mariah Pulver, Narine Daneghyan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 11, Thuy Le, USA, Vietnam