Heroes of September 11 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

One bright, cheery morning when I was in second grade, we were coloring leaves for our “turning a new leaf” project. Yes, I guess that day was the perfect time for that particular lesson. I was called to the office, and when I arrived my father was there. This was odd. My dad worked on Tuesdays. It was around ten – what brought him here? He looked calm, but I could tell he was worried.

On the way home, I saw people standing on their stoops shaking their heads. “It’s terrible,” one woman called to my father. What was going on? As we turned onto a busy street, I saw hundreds of parked yellow taxis. These belong in the city – cabs rarely came out to Brooklyn.

When we reached home, my dad flipped on the television. As I ate my lunch of pizza, my dad told me to watch. I saw what seemed to be the New York City skyline, except in the middle was a cloud of black smoke that almost entirely hid the Twin Towers. We flipped from channel to channel, always finding the same scene. When the camera zoomed in on the large holes and fire engulfing the buildings, my father gasped. People were running and screaming as debris blanketed the city. But I didn’t pay much attention; I was enjoying my pizza.

“Watch the TV. This is going to be important in your life,” Dad said. I ­didn’t understand that a horrifying ­attack had happened, and if I peeked out my living-room window and looked into the distance, I could see it with my own eyes.

Some people call it 9/11. Some call it the World Trade Center attacks. But no matter what the day is called, I’ll always remember the blare of the fire trucks and police cars that roared through the city. I’ll never forget watching hundreds of these heroes run into the blazing buildings, some never to return.

We look up to celebrities who entertain for a living, but we rarely acknowledge real heroes. They are the ones who risk their lives to ensure the safety of others. To me, heroes are the firefighters, the police, and the paramedics who, while the city was under attack, put the lives of strangers before their own. They ran into the buildings as they burned, hoping to save a few people. Always prepared, just like any day, they acted. According to some sources, as many as 411 emergency workers died on 9/11, out of the 2,900 or so people who were killed.

So this tiny essay (whose heart is so big) goes out to them. Wherever they are, I hope they know how much they are loved and respected. I clap every time I see a fire truck blare down the street. I smile and wave to every police officer because I know of their courage and sacrifice. May all those who perished rest in peace, and those who survived live honorable and healthy lives.

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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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

Aujthecheergirl said...
Mar. 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm
that was so good! I actually followed your lead and started clapping as I saw a firetruck blare down the street today.
MisplacedTexan14 said...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm
I loved this. i was five on 9/11 and all I remember is them cleaning up the rubble and all the extra security at the airport.
I liked your point about the celebrities. Why do people scream and wave when they see a celebrity, but ignore a soldier or firefighter. They are the true celebrities. my cousin is a firefighter and he is my hero.
distant_dreamer said...
Jul. 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm
I really love this!!! It is so good, and true! I wrote a speech, it is called "God Bless America" It is under heroes! Again, you are so talented!!!!! I'm giving you 5 stars!!!!! <3
alice312 said...
Jul. 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm
Aw thank you guys! I wrote this such a long time ago and never checked it out thanks for the support!
Midknightrider said...
Jul. 24, 2009 at 1:23 pm
Oh My Gosh! I love it. Its so true. keep writeing that was awsome!!!!!
horns_101 said...
Feb. 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm
WOW. dat was good!!!
emalcious101 said...
Nov. 26, 2008 at 1:39 am
Well done! I totally agree with you that heroes aren't athletes of entertainers, they're police officers, fire men, and anyone else who is willing to put themself in harms way in order to help someone else. Great essay, congratulations!
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