Ten years ago, Clear Falls students would have been sitting in art class, or at home, eating lunch or playing with elementary school friends. Sept. 11, 2001 was a seemingly normal day, and as they carried on with their innocent behavior, 2,976 lives would be lost in the attacks on the four hijacked planes, the Pentagon, and the Twin Towers.
At the time of the attacks, current juniors would have only been in first grade, sophomores would have been in kindergarten, and freshman would have been 3 or 4 years old, and in preschool.
Despite the young age of many students, most can recall the place they were at when the devastation occurred.
“I was in art class, making a frog,” said Kyla Kirk, eleventh grader.
Younger students weren’t even enrolled in school at the time.
“I was at home, eating lunch, and I heard the attacks happen over the radio,” Jacob Baboolal, a ninth grader at Clear Falls, said.
The effect of the attacks resonated throughout the nation, affecting almost every household.
“I was in Washington D.C. on a military base because my dad was in the marines,” said sophomore Blair Dishon. “He was only a couple miles away from the Pentagon and he didn’t come home until two days later because no one could leave or enter the base.”
Being so young at the time, many current high school students couldn’t grasp the importance of this calamity.
“I remember the principal made and announcement and my teacher started crying and I didn’t understand,” said Maggy Mulholland, a junior.
The events had a more emotional affect on teachers, who were adults at the time that the attacks happened.
“I was in my apartment. I had college class later that day and I was watching the news. I skipped class to stay home and watch it all day, and I was just crying the entire time.” Ms. Kylee Caraveo, an English teacher, said.
And while students may not have necessarily grieved over the incident, often times their parents did.
“When my dad came home he seemed emotional distant for a few days,” said Dishon.
Students often consider the catastrophe to be one of the most appalling things to take place during their lifetime.
“My mom was crying when she picked me up,” said Kirk.
Sept. 11 had a profound affect on today’s America. While adults see America differently after the attacks, students were too young at the time to recognize a difference.
“For the better, the attacks brought us [America] together,” said Caraveo.
Every year at the same time, the still grieving nation unites in remembrance of all the people who gave their lives in the attack.
Principal Engle did ask that all students take time out of their Sunday, on the tenth anniversary, to remember those who died and tocherish their freedom.
The Sept. 11 attacks affected everyone, whether they knew someone who died in them or not. Many are simply affected by having their location during the attacks engraved in their brains, others the images of the towers falling, and for those who were too young to remember the experience, the ability to learn and relive the attacks each September.
Fifty-six years apart, May 1 has stunned America with announcements of the deaths of two of most wicked men in history. In 1945, news of Hitler’s suicide was released to the public, and in 2011, U.S. Officials shocked Americans with word of a successful mission to kill the most prominent terrorist: Osama Bin Laden.
Bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist group al Qaeda, is most famous for his attacks against the World’s Trade Center on September 9, 2011. His plans to strike the towers with a plane ultimately killed about 3000 people. Since the attacks, Bin Laden has been in hiding in several Middle Eastern countries, beginning a ten-year manhunt to find him.
In 2004, under President Bush’s commands, soldiers closed in on an area supposedly holding Bin Laden. However, he managed to escape on a back path left unguarded, which prompted his search for another seven years.
In August of 2010 the United States government received a tip that Bin Laden may be living in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The tip came from someone under interrogation in Guantanamo Bay. Officials say that he compound was built and finished in 2005, primarily for the usage of hiding Bin Laden.
The government monitored the complex for months while investigating the possibility of Bin Laden using it as a safe house. On late April 30 to early May 1, President Obama gave the special undercover group a “go” to proceed in raiding the compound.
Originally, the four helicopters circling the complex were not to land, but after one’s engine stalled, they made emergency landings on top of the complex. Navy Seals proceeded into the compound, and ultimately killed four people other than Bin Laden. One of Bin Laden’s many wives was supposedly used as a shield to for another.
Agents found Bin Laden in one of the upper levels or the complex, and were told to bring him back alive if he agreed to surrender. However, after denying the offer, agents shot him in the chest and head. They gathered his body, and the hardware from computers within the compound before leaving.
The U.S. government is now sifting through the collected materials, as well as deliberating whether or not to release pictures of Bin Laden’s body to the public.
To ensure that the man killed was Bin Laden, DNA taken was compared to Bin Laden’s family DNA.
Coincidentally, the compound in which Bin Laden was found in lays less than 1,000 yards away from the Military Academy in Kakul, Pakistan.
The Pakistani government was not informed on the U.S.’s plans to invade the safe house, due to fear that they may delay or keep the plan from following through.
Bin Laden’s death does not prove an end to terrorism, but will weaken the strength of al Qaeda.
How did Clear Falls students react to the death of the Most Wanted Man?
Emotions among students ran high, as they learned news that the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks had been put to end. Osama Bin Laden would no longer walk this Earth or stun the world with his cunning hiding spots.
“I’m happy that it is over, justice is served. I [feel] more relief than fear,” said Melissa Weber.
People around the world will be sure to remember the day, time, and place they were when they learned the news of Bin Laden’s death, just as they did the day the towers fell.
“I remember i was in school, and my English teacher bursted into tears. Later, I found out that her son and husband worked in the twin towers. In order to keep everyone from crying, and myself from crying, I did the box of Kleenes dance, it broke the ice enough for my peers and I to have a calm conversation about what was going on.” Amy Shuff, a math teacher, said.
Students also remember the day that Bin Laden and his terrorist organization, al Qaeda, murdered about 3000 Americans.
“I was at school in first grade and we went into a lockdown situation,” said Dusty Maes, a sophomore.
With Bin Laden buried at sea, his death has sent waves of patriotism, jubilation, and pride across America. Those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks can rest, knowing that the murderer behind them will no longer penetrate their lives.