Letter to the Editor

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This Letter to the Editor appeared in The West Essex Tribune (NJ) on September 20, 2001. It was written by a tenth grade student.

"Dear Editor:

I was laughing as I stepped in to my third period jounalism honors class, but my joy was short lived. During that period, Mrs. McKenna and the principal alerted us to the fact that two planes rammed in to the twin towers. Our class fell silent. How perfectly ironic to find out about such horrible breaking news in our journalism class.

When people asked where people of the baby-boom generation were when J.F.K. was shot, I never understood how they could remember. Now I see how. Acts of violence so profound can be remembered forever. The impact it has on all of us is immense, not only the impact on those who lost family members and loved ones, but those of us who know what the twin towers represent. Not only were they the second tallest buildings in the United States, but they were also what we saw first on our way to the City. They were always there, as constant as the sun, and now they are gone.

Our school day was a solemn one. Nobody taught and everyone was glued to the glowing box showing us horrible images of panic and destruction. Every hour new film was sent in of the terrible suffering of all those people. I cannot come up with the words necessary to describe such an event except to say how everything else is dwarfed by this event. All the arguments we may have seem useless compared to the enormity of this act of horrendous violence. Words from a song by Duran Duran convey this idea:

"Papers in the roadside tell of suffering and greed; feared today, forgot tomorrow;

Here beside the news of holy war and holy need, ours is just a little sorrowed talk."

We cannot sit by and let terrorists destroy America and our families." Zachary Bushnell
(edited for length)