9/11: Seven years in rememberance

By Jake Verterano
September 11, 2008

Shannon Keough

I had never seen so many kids get picked up from school in my life. While my science teacher nervously tried to explain the genetic structure of the sun to us, I gazed out the window as mothers rushed their kids into their mini-vans.

Why were all of these kids getting picked up from school at ten in the morning? I guess all of the orthodontists in the area were booked up for the afternoon. Then I found out the horrible truth.

Two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. Another plane had crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and another had gone down somewhere in Pennsylvania.

I sat motionless in my fourth period Spanish class. So many things were going through my head and I didn’t really know what to think. So many people were there. So many people’s lives were about to change forever on this day. I then realized I could be one of those people.

My dad worked in the World Trade Center, as did my half brother, Nicky. Fortunately, my father and brother survived the horrible attack.

My father didn’t get home until after midnight that day. No one said anything to him as he walked through the door of my house. No one knew what to say.

His charcoal suit had been stained with a pale ash. The smile he usually wore had been replaced with a blank expression. And his eyes looked like the life had been sucked out of them.

“Pray for people tonight. There’s a lot of kids who won’t have their mom and dads come home tonight,” my father said as he turned to my brothers and I.

My father was right. Some kids came to school the next day relieved that their loved one was safe, and some didn’t even come to school.

The area I live in is halfway between New York City and Philadelphia. The majority of the people who live in the area work in one of the two cities and commute. A lot of parents worked in the World Trade Center area. Some were policemen, some were firemen and some were employees in the Trade Center. None of their occupations mattered at this point though. They all had one thing in common, life. They all had that one thing that was stolen from them.

The inexcusable acts of Sept. 11 will never be forgotten. No matter how hard people try to forget about them, they will always be engraved in every American’s memory forever.

I know I will never forget them. I won’t forget the endless string of funerals. I won’t forget the smiles I’ll never see again. I especially won’t forget the looks on the faces of friends who had lost someone important.

Despite the horrible memories etched into minds forever, it’s important for people to remember how unified our country was right after the attacks. There was no bias, no judgment, just unity.

Sworn enemies held hands during this time period. Complete strangers exchanged hugs. Everyone was one. It’s sad that it took a tragedy to bring our country together, but it’s a mindset we need to keep.

Be there for one another, help each other out, care for each other. Don’t wait for another Sept. 11 to show you love someone.

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Jake Verterano

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