A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Date Submitted: 08/31/2011
Author Info: Elle (Tempe, AZ - USA) 
Occupation: Government/Military
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

It’s a very simple story. Although I was in Arizona at the time, I can tell you very seriously that 9/11 affected the students at Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside deeply. That morning, before the news broke, most of the students at Blue Ridge High were preparing for picture day. I was a sophomore. When I arrived to my first class, a few minutes late, I was immediately aware of a grim presence in the room. It was the TV. Our math teacher never turned on the TV. It was blaring. All of the well-groomed students looked sullen. I looked up and thought I was watching a movie. They have to cancel picture day, I thought. How can they take pictures of us while we’re all crying, frowning, confused, worried, anxious? They didn’t cancel it. When our proofs came out a few months later, everyone noticed just how different we looked as a student body with the day’s events memorialzed on our faces. Some chose to re-take the pictures as soon as possible, but some of us chose to keep them the way they were…to show that it wasn’t just another picture day. The yearbook that came out later in 2002 was a shocking testament to the grief and to the hope we mustered as Americans and as students so far away from the tradgedy, and yet so close.


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