Early September Fever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


One year ago, the word terrorist was not common to our vocabulary. Now, it is hard to go a day withoutthinking about the attacks that changed our lives. I would say that beforeSeptember 11, 2001, Americans were cocky and believed nothing could ever happento us, but when the world seemed to be on fire, we were at the center of theflames. September 11th was one of the most horrible days in the history of UnitedStates.

It was a time of disbelief, tragedy, chaos and death, but some ofAmerica's heroes emerged from the ashes to help their fellow man. Firefighters,policemen, government officials, teachers and parents taught us more on thatterrible day than we could learn in a lifetime.

Most of us were at school,just regular kids attending regular classes. I remember hearing about it andthinking that two planes couldn't have crashed into the World Trade Center, itwas impossible. My astonishment increased when I heard a third plane had hit thePentagon. I could not believe that two American symbols were ablaze. It was sohard to think about all the people caught in the chaos, all those who were lostin an instant. As teenagers, we've seen tragedy in the form of high-schoolshootings, murders, arson and more, but this time the crime seemed to hit home.This attack targeted Americans in general.

It was so hard to believe thefacts of what had happened that I hadn't even thought about Trisha, my cousin,who lives on the upper side of New York City. I was so relieved when I learnedshe was all right; my grandmother said she was pretty shaken, but not hurt. Ikept asking why someone would do such an awful thing. By fifth period, kids hadbegun to go home and downtown businesses were closing.

I will neverforget coming home and seeing over and over the planes crashing; it began to makeme sick. Even now, a year later, it amazes me to see the footage from thathorrible day. Houston may not be New York's neighbor, but we were hit by the samewave of shock and grief.

President Bush vowed to get those who inflictedour nation with such pain, but when he does, will it end terrorism? We arecalling this the War Against Terrorism, but wars are fought and won. Who are wefighting? Osama bin Laden? Once we find and defeat him, have we won the war? Forus to acquire victory and regain peace, the whole world must stop the turmoil.How long will we have to wait?

Iraq and Iran are just two nations thathave accepted war as a way of life; children there grow up accustomed to thesounds of war and the sight of bodies in the streets. Boys as young as ten areforced to grow up so fast that smoking cigarettes and holding a machine gun is acommon picture. Americans have so much liberty and freedom, and we often take itfor granted. The daily murders and crimes don't seem to phase us. We have come toaccept that there are bad people who do bad things, but should we? Should we sitback and let the murderers and criminals control our country, while we try tolive in our own little world and ignore everything?

Our leaders are doingeverything they can to find a way to fight these acts of terror. What can we dountil then? This generation has yet to be caught in the crossfire of a world war,but what about the smaller wars we witness every day? The drowning of innocentchildren, the abuse and assaults on innocent people, and all the dangers in ourworld that we see and hardly believe. Teenagers see schools threatened by bombsor guns, and we still choose to think we will never encounter such a thing. Oureyes become mature beyond our years just by living. The biggest mistake we evermade was thinking it wouldn't happen to us.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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