The Student News Site of Teen Scene, Inc

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Like Us on Facebook

In One Instant


(As later printed in the U.S. Congressional Record)

They said we would never for-get what we were doing the moment it happened, and they were right. In one instant, everything we ever knew changed, and even three years later, the memory is still fresh in my mind.

It had been like any other Tuesday morning. I had just finished my algebra class, and I was making the quick trek from the high school classroom to the middle school for my Latin class. My only concern at that point was that there might be a pop quiz on the previous night’s vocabulary, so I carefully read my notes as I walked. Once I reached the classroom, I noticed the back of a television in the room, and at that time, it greatly relieved me to think that we were going to watch a movie instead of have a quiz. How-ever, when I rounded the corner and looked at the screen, I did not see the usual video about Roman art and civilization. Instead, I saw a close up of a building that appeared to be on fire. A new feeling of anxiety began to trouble me, one that was quite different from the one I had felt just a few seconds earlier. Confused, I sat down at my desk, and asked around about what was going on. No one seemed to know, so I again stared intently at the television screen. I thought, ?Oh, well there was probably just an accidental fire that started in one of the offices.? But that was when I saw it: something moving across the bottom of the screen and slamming in to the side of the second building. I watched, horrified, as people on the ground began screaming and running for their lives to avoid the falling debris. Not 5 minutes after this happened, I be-gan hearing talk that this was the result of terrorist attacks on the United States homeland. That was where it all began.

It is strange to think that on that day, something so trivial as a pop quiz had worried me so much. When I remember how relieved I was for that moment to see the television, I feel guilty for letting something so small make me feel that way. So now, it is three years later, and the world has changed in-deed. Terrorism is no longer just a vague news report that I hear about happening in far away countries. It is now a part of our everyday lives, just as it has been for many other countries across the world. Constant news reports, newspaper headlines, anthrax scares, and bomb threats are enough to serve as a constant reminder and instill a fear in everyone.


The questions are asked: “When well it happen again?”, “Can we prevent it?”, and perhaps the most puzzling question of all, “Why?”

I cannot imagine the grief of someone who lost a family member or friend in the attacks. Still, every single person in the United States was affected by the attacks in someway. It is hard to imagine the kind of hatred that could spawn such a horrific attack on innocent civilians who were only working their everyday jobs, traveling to see relatives, going on a business trip, or taking a vacation. What was the motive? Several explanations have been investigated, such as greed, religious fundamentalism, jealousy, politics, and social reasons. Per-haps, the best explanation is a com-bination of all of these. Many people believe that some of the Muslim fundamentalists feel their culture is threatened by the United States? presence in the Middle East. Essentially, they hate U.S. foreign policy. There is no doubt that this plays some part in the reason for the at-tacks, for in many terrorist speeches there are references to the Ameri-can support of Israel and its presence in Saudi Arabia. However, the anger is not directed only toward America. In the case of Bin Laden, for instance, there is extreme resentment for Muslim regimes that have ?sold out? to western civilization, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Malaysia.

Of course, there can be no reason to justify the terrible events that happened on September 11th and other attacks across the world. However, we must not only remember the terrible things that happened on that day, but we must also remember the bravery of the men and women who risked and even gave their lives to save others. We must remember how the entire country joined together to help the families of victims, to show their patriotism and support, and to re-solve to never let it happen again. We must now look upon the future with a positive attitude to promote a safer, less fearful world, all the while, never forgetting the day that changed everything.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *