WTC Tragedy: September 11, 2001

Community perspective


by Kristy Castora --


When I look out the window everything looks the same, but I know better. The streets look the same, the leaves fall from the trees, people walk their dogs; yet we have a whole new world. The events of Tuesday, September 11th have changed everything. It is a different world and I am a different person.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic, just realistic. Before Tuesday, I was fearless. I believed that I could do anything, be anything. I never really considered an alternative. Our generation takes pride in believing that we can take on the world. We have great expectations for what the future has in store for us, and nothing is going to stop us from reaching our goals. Until now.

Terrorism has put a question mark where there used to be a period. Now I’m not saying that I’ve lost hope and that it’s all downhill from here, but I am saying that there is doubt where there never was before. These terrorist acts have challenged my innocence and my optimism. I no longer feel invincible or in control. I must acknowledge the outside forces that control my future besides my own will and desire. I’m not sure if the world is my oyster anymore.

Right now, my world is in a tizzy. I feel vulnerable and helpless in a way that I never felt before, and I’m not sure about a lot of things…Will my heart ever stop racing when I hear a siren? How long will it be before I can look at an airplane in the sky and not wonder if it’s headed for disaster? When will I stop feeling scared?…And when the fear subsides, does that mean that I don’t care or that I’m ignorant?…If I don’t cry, does that mean that I don’t mourn those who have died?…Is it wrong to feel relieved that my family and loved ones are ok?…Am I a fool to think that I’m safe?

As the hype of these terrorist attacks wanes, and the wounds of this tragedy start to heal, will we put away our American flags? Attempting to return to our normal routines, will we become complacent and forget about the atrocities that have united us? Will we stop being patient and compassionate towards each other? Will we return to the "every man for himself" philosophy in which I, Me, and My are the three most important words in our vocabulary? If that’s what getting on with our lives means, then I’m not interested.

The attacks on September 11, 2001 have forced me to take a closer look at what it means to be an American. Freedom is the foundation of this great nation, and as a law-abiding citizen, freedom is my right. Freedom has made me feel safe and fearless. Tuesday, terrorists threatened to take all of that away. These events have changed me, and that is not a bad thing. Although I am no longer fearless, I am aware and more determined than ever. I have uncovered my greatest weapon against terrorism: courage. After all, courage is not the absence of fear; it is forging on despite fear. It will take courage to face our new world, but I am an American so I know I can do it. ###

World Trade Center
Remembered ...

WTC Remembered 2005

[Memorial Service]
[Mr. Paul Carris Address]

WTC Remembered 2004
[Memorial Service]

WTC Remembered 2003
[Memorial Service]    [Karen Fels Photos]

WTC Remembered 2002
Candlelight Procession Start at [Kipp]
[Down Passaic to Circle]
[Service at Circle][Public at Service]
[General community photos]
[Middle School Patriotic Tribute]
Karen Fels Pics [Procession][Service]

WTC Remembered 2001
[Candle Light Vigil] at Depken Field 9/15
[CommunityPerspective][Community Photos]
[Karen Fels Perspective]
[Kristy Castora Perspective]
[Heights School Reaction]
Paul Carris Heroism [Angels Walk Among Us]

Neighbor lost in the attacks ...
Robert C. Miller Jr., 55, Anon Corp.

[Flag History- Rose Heck]
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