9-11 From a Fourth Grade Perspective

Date Submitted: 09/11/2011
Author Info: Alyssa (Allendale, MI - USA) 
Occupation: Student
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

We got up that morning and went about our business as usual. At 7:45, my brother Andrew (11), my sister Colleen (7), and me (9) walked down to the corner to wait for our bus to elementary school. As I got to class, I put up my things and sat down in my seat to begin the morning routine of reading. About an hour or so later, our teacher received a phone call – I now assume that it was from our principal to inform her of the attacks- and she told us all to gather our things, because we would be going home early today. When we asked her why, she only told us that we would always remember September 11, 2001 after today. She was right.
When I returned home, my mother was waiting for the three of us at the front door. She told my sister that she could go play with her toys in the front room, but told my brother and me to come with her into the TV room. She sat us both down on the couch and turned on the TV.
“I need you guys to see what happened today,” she told us. The rest of watching the news program was filled with both of us kids asking why someone would want to kill all of those people. As fourth and fifth graders, we had figured out the not everyone is a very nice person, but this was the first time either of us had ever experienced violence on this large of a scale. I remember on the news program there was a shot of a little girl walking next to a police car, clutching a stuffed bear, alone and confused, crying out for someone to find her. I remember watching that clip and just crying and crying.
In the ten years that have passed since that crisp September morning, I have grown up and many changes have occurred in my life. My life’s dream is no longer to chase around tornados with a video camera, I don’t want to just eat pizza and frozen tacos for dinner every night, and my hero is not Superman. I am not a child anymore. However, the way that I feel about the attacks on our country has not, and will never change. I pray that the families of those lost will someday find peace and can take comfort in the knowledge that their loved ones will never truly be gone as long as they keep them alive in their hearts, thoughts, and actions. God Bless America, and God Bless all those who have lost their lives, either in the attacks or fighting for our country in the years since.


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