Just a few hours after everything went down on Sept 11, 2001
our website, www.girlslife.com, went up. We asked girls to share their
thoughts, their hopes, their fears and their prayers. Here are some of those
first e-mails—a permanent record of how you, our readers, experienced a day
that will forever be with all of us.
“I always thought the U.S. was the most indestructible and
powerful nation in the world. Yesterday, my dad, a firefighter, died when the
Twin Towers collapsed. I am numb. I can’t cry anymore, and I can hardly
speak. At least I know my dad left
the world as a hero, saving others. But it’s NOT fair, and I will never
understand why this happened. Oh, please let this stop!” –A reader
“I live an hour away from New York City. My uncle and two cousins
are firefighters. When my uncle reported to the World Trade Center, he went
inside with about five other people from his company. He was inside when the
second building collapsed. He saved himself and other by hiding under a
stairwell. Ironically, my uncle just switched companies less than a month ago.
His old company was outside when the building collapsed—they all died. Five
people in my school lost parents who worked in the WTC, or were police or
firefighters. Even though no one in my family was hurt or killed, pray for the
families who have been affected by this.” –Girl in N.Y.
“I walked into my social studies class, and the news was on
TV. I realized the World Trade Center was on fire, but I didn’t think much of
it. When the Towers collapsed, it hit me. People were in the towers, people
were on the ground underneath them. My heart goes out to anyone who has been
hurt—mentally or physically—by this terrible tragedy.” –Kerry, 13
“I live in Springfield, Va., which is right down the street
from the Pentagon. Some friends at other schools heard the booming sound of the
plane crashing into the Pentagon. My friend’s mother works at the Pentagon but
luckily, she was on the other side of the building when the plane crashed.
Others weren’t so lucky. The people who died were mothers, fathers, aunts,
uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers and friends. I no longer feel safe in my
home. I hope this NEVER happens again.” –Kelly, 11
“I go to a Catholic school right across the river from the
World Trade Center. On that Tuesday morning, around 10 a.m., our school
principal announced on the PA system to pray the rosary because the Twin Towers
were under attack from terrorists. Everyone ran to the windows and saw the tops
of the Towers on fire. Then, we
all heard a bang and looked again. What we saw was unbelievable—the first tower
had collapsed. The whole day, we watched out the window, watched TV, listened
to the radio and prayed. We looked on in horror as the second tower collapsed.
We tried to resume class, but military planes and helicopters kept flying above
the building. When I got home from school, I walked into my room and broke down
in tears. I feel like every second
I lived that Tuesday was a bad dream. This tragedy changed my outlook on the
world. Lots of innocent lives were
lost. I have always forgiven people, as I was taught. But I can’t bring myself
to forgive this horrible act.” –A reader in Jersey City, N.J.
“On Sept. 11, thousands of innocent people were killed.
Women became widows. Children became orphans. Mothers lost daughters. Fathers
lost sons. Families were torn apart in minutes. A nation is terrorized because
some lunatic thinks Americans are evil because we’re friends with Israel. This
is the most sick, twisted, disgusting thing I’ve ever heard of.” –A reader
“I can’t really believe this happened. When my math teacher
turned on the TV, we thought it was a horror movie. But, then he told us it was
true. Then, during science, the principal told us, “A second plane crashed into
the Twin Towers.” We watched the news for the rest of the day, and it was
really scary. Sometimes people do things out of pure hatred, but this has gone
too far.” –A reader
“Who could possible hate us so much that they would bring
this much pain and suffering to millions of people? There is hope for the future and that future is our
generation. We are the hope for this country. Are you ready to bring hope and
healing –and to make sure nothing like this happens to our children? I am.” –A
“I live in Washington State. When I heard about the tragedy,
I thought everyone would be sobered, sad and a little worried during the school
day. And mad, too. However, people
talked about it only a little. Only one person I know seemed to be affected.
And the day after, I heard one person talking on the bus. All that everyone
talks about is whether or not we are going to war. The lack of caring astonishes me. They said, “Well, I don’t
know anybody who was there.” But they should care. People are dead, people are
dying, people are summoning up the courage to give blood and money. People’s
lives have been changed forever, and people are leaving their homes to go help
rescue other people at the risk of their own lives. Our lives have changed.
They say we need to on with our lives to show terrorists that we will not
succumb to them. We also have to talk about it because that is the only way
terrorism will be stopped.” –Hester
“For the first time, I understood what Franklin D. Roosevelt
meant when he said, “Today is a day that will live in infamy,” after Pearl
Harbor was attacked. I won’t forget this. How can I? I think of all my relatives. I have five aunts and uncles
who live in New York, not to mention all of my cousins. If my uncle had gone on
his business trip this morning, he would have been on a plane that was
hijacked. Everything reminds me of terror, killing and hate. Now, I understand
how powerful hate can be. I feel as it I will never be the same again. I feel
exposed. I want to cry, but the tears won’t come. I want to think of something
else, but it seems so wrong. I want to pretend this is all a dream, but it
isn’t. We are all now the same. We have all felt the same fear. We need to have
hope from here on out. If we have hope, we can survive.” –Ashley F.
“Today, a city came together to help one another. Today, a
country came together—and we became stronger.” –Susanna L.
What are you thinking now that the 10th anniversary of September 11 is upon us? Share below, babes.