Twin Tower Tragedy:
By Angela Montefinise
The following was
emailed Dylan Tatz, a senior at Stuyvesant High School and a resident of Forest Hills.
So what did you learn in school today? Last Tuesday, I gave a revealing answer to this familiar question. I learned that it is easy to tell a falling body from a falling piece of debris because bodies fall much faster.
We stood in the Chemistry lab on the ninth floor for almost an hour, mesmerized
by the sight of men and women in expensive suits glancing back into what was their office
one last time, and then throwing themselves down onto the chaotic sidewalk hundreds of
feet below. Some got a running start while others stood at the edge until the flames
literally licked their skin and pushed them off into the endless cloud of smoke.
Some held hands, while others preferred to dive alone into whatever fate follows that
At one point, two teachers noticed us in the vacant lab, and proceeded to scold
us about the dangers of being in an unsupervised room and cutting our scheduled
classes. Then, without a word, we pointed to the window, and the teachers
authority melted as each burst into hysterical tears. By ten oclock, there
were six teachers lined up next to the four of us, crying into each others shoulders
just like we were.
I suppose I am glad that my curiosity led me to excuse myself for a visit to the
bathroom when I heard that a small commuter plane had accidentally crashed in the north
tower. And I suppose that it was educational, although traumatic, that I then proceeded
instead to the dark, unoccupied chemistry lab on the south side of the building to see
what was going on. But when I saw that giant black crater in the north tower, and suddenly
realized that this was no small commuter plane,
I contracted a disease in my heart from which I shall never recover.
Soon after that, we were told to evacuate the school. As FBI agents and National
Guard soldiers swarmed about our benign school lobby, and then led us on our exodus up
West Street, the two towers collapsed. As we marched north, the Orpheus in me periodically
glanced back over my shoulder to behold the smoky void where ninety minutes ago the twin
towers had soared invincibly, while the Israelite in me prayed that someone would step out
from the mass of fleeing people, part the Hudson River, and lead us away from this chaotic
hell we call TriBeCa into the polluted promised land of New Jersey.
Kids at P.S. 150 in Long Island City honored people lost in the World Trade
Center attack by drawing and painting pictures of the national flag and several memorial
cards for the schools Memorial Wall located in front of the school.
Our people were killed
God Bless Twin Towers
We are America
Signs Of Peace
Police Officer Brant Maynard, who recently stood guard outside a mosque in
Woodside, spoke about the peace he found from a Queens standpoint.
The day before Maynard brought a relative by the City Lights building in Long
Island City so they could view the skyline of the City, but now its been forever
altered. Yet, he explained there was a beacon
of hope. An electronic billboard by the
entrance of the Midtown tunnel took a break from displaying advertisements. Instead, it produced a simple, but complicated
You could see the skyline where the twin towers used to be, and there was
smoke and I saw the sign peace. I was like
wow, he said.
The following poem was written by Zachary Davis, 11, Forest Hills and emailed
to the Queens Tribune
by Zachary Davis, 11, Forest Hills
The 'Bread And Butter' Of Helping Out
I Wanna Be A Fireman
By AUDREY AMAR OF KEW GARDENS HILLS
I want to be a fireman. To ride high from the top of the red engine. The rushing air cooling and flushing my face and making my unauthorized long hair dance, to the wild tune of the anticipated urgency, to save a life.
How big will the catastrophe be? One life? Two lives? Looking down, Id bless the people over the screaming, deafening, blaring siren. With silent prayers of their safety, Id preach, "May you live peaceful, wholesome, healthy lives. May you be inspired to do good. Take care of your kids. And for Gods sake!", with a Spike Lee rappin, finger pointing, emphasis, Id tell them to, "do the right thing!"
To save a life. How far would you go to save one life? What makes one human being risk their one life for another one life? Whats in a firemans soul that makes it a mission to save that one life?
I wanna be a fireman, with my flag on my back . . . alternating stripes of red and white, the pulsing blood red passion underscoring the white, pure ideals, fueled again by another stripe of red passion, inspired by a stripe of high ideals. Red underscoring white, underscoring red, underscoring white. Blue because blue is cool and so are we.
I want to be a giant too, with big boots, and
heavy, mandatory, big, ol hard-hat. It will certainly crush my hair. But what will
it matter how I look? cause when I emerge from the fire, with the still beating
heart and pale, minuscule breath of the body on my back, Ill be crying my mascara
off anyway. Saving one life.
The beauty of the early September Tuesday was shattered. Behind the burning image on TV, the commentators unsteady voice was saying... something. Sent from the wickedly vibrating, knots forming in my belly, what fell out of my lips, spoken to the empty room around me, was so simply, "What is this? What? It cant be." Turning off the TV, believing maybe if I closed my eyes it wouldnt be so. Turning it back on, I felt unsteady, like a piece of me was chopped off and I now needed to find balance again. I wanted so much to believe that piece was still there. So I kept watching, waiting for them to say "It didnt really happen. The Twin Towers are fine."
The very minutes I was sitting, scoping my mind for sense, the firemen are saving lives... going into the raging heat, into the burning freight, into the voluminous terror, into the peril of Ground Zero.
Hours and days, endless eternity, and maybe finally a body, One Life. One Life that doesnt look so pretty. For them, this one life is as magnanimous, glorious, as a Hollywood movie star, for the moment. Theyre the One Life the firemen have been searching for.
This personal violation, this ruining of my city, is like skipped heartbeats, never to be had again. My city is ruined physically. Its ruined mentally. And well have to see how far our spirits can take us.
The safety we took for granted is gone. When it hit me, there was nowhere to go in this world, theres no release from the agony of this world, I literally wanted to die. But theres no time for that. No time for fear, nor defeat. Theres no time for plans. Theres no time for that . . . if I want to be a fireman.
Their vision, their gumption, their power. Their dirty faces. Their smoke inhalation. Their scarring hearts. What makes them do it? Maybe for just that One Life.
I want to be a fireman. I wont cry at horror and evil. Ill do it right in this life. To live for a higher goal. To have a mind of mission. To see the path so clearly. To have God carry my weight. To land my feet in the fire.
May God Bless our firefighters. Our police and rescue workers, too. May the families of those who died on 9/11/01 saving lives, find peace, and have pride on behalf of these incredible, brave people, who blessed our city.
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