Remembering September 11th

Mrs. Lutz: “In our Literature of the Holocaust classes, we have been talking about the universe of obligation and the factors that either motivate or hinder a person from helping someone else. There are a plethora of stories that describe the “ordinary citizens” who sacrificed their lives in order to help save others after the attacks on the World Trade Center. One survivor recalls, “It didn’t matter what color, race, or creed; it was just people helping people.” I remember that feeling of unity on September 11, 2001. I was living by myself on 63rd and West End and didn’t know anyone in the area yet. After seeing the horrific images on television, I began pacing frantically around my apartment; I was scared, alone, and uncertain. There was zero cell service. The internet was down. I left my apartment to locate a pay phone only to find that it was not working either. I didn’t know what to do, so I began walking towards Amsterdam Ave. I remember crowding around a white van with a group of strangers so that we could listen to the radio. I don’t remember for how long I was standing there before I started heading back to my apartment, but I remember with great clarity the sense of camaraderie that existed amongst everyone that day and in the weeks that followed.”


Madison Sheinker: “Every year on September eleventh, I make sure to watch the memorial on TV. As I look back on this event, I commemorate the unfathomable number of innocent people who died that day. Although I was only three years old at the time, September eleventh will always signify a heartbreaking tragedy, one which deserves to be remembered forever.”


Ms. Padelsky: “When 9/11 occurred I was a freshman in college at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. I was sitting in biology lecture when someone ran into the room to tell us what had happened. Not having grown up in New York I didn’t have an appreciation for the Twin Towers or a memory of ever visiting, however, in the days and weeks to follow we huddled around the television in our dorm rooms and watched the news. It was a sad time and all students from Pace’s NYC campus were bussed up to Pleasantville since they were only 3 blocks away from Ground Zero and had to evacuate. After 9/11 I really valued my relationships with others a lot more, I visited family often and hugged my friends a little tighter. It was a wake-up call to me about the bad that was present in the world, before 9/11 I really didn’t think about terrorism.Today, 9/11 is a day to pay your respects to those that tragically lost their lives either at work or helping to save others as first responders. It is a sad day, but I always try to pay tribute in some way, this year I will be running 9.11 miles as part of a running group to commemorate the lives lost.”


Libbe Christophel: “9/11 was a terrible crime against humanity where, unfortunately, many people died. However, if you look to see it from a positive light, it brought the country together and continues to do so each year as they commemorate the events and share their stories.”


Jamie Spelling: “9/11 gave the United States a sense of character. It gave us something to learn from, something to grow from. 9/11 was a learning experience as a government, as a community and as a nation. But 9/11 came at the cost of thousands of innocent lives. It should be remembered from all angles and in all respects, as painful or informative they may be.”


Olivia Bulzomi: “Something good is almost always born out of a tragedy. 9/11 was a horrific day, especially for those of us who live around NYC and who continue to relive that day every year. But something has to be said about the resiliency of the American people, and in particular, the New Yorkers. The ultimate goal of Al Qaeda was to inflict terror, but they did not succeed in destroying the things Americans hold very dear: hope and pride. My parents always say the days, months, and years after 9/11 showed the greatest displays of patriotism they have ever seen. Anywhere else in the world, people may have let this act of terrorism overtake their lives, but Americans chose instead to be proactive, to volunteer, to show how much they cared about their country. As JFK once said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. On that day, American citizens rose up from the ashes at Ground Zero and rebuilt their city and their pride brick by brick, showing the world that the land of the free and the home of the brave will never succumb to evil.”