ERCOD Texas - 9/11 - "We Will Not Forget September 11, 2001"

Uploaded by ERCODvideos on 30.06.2012


(music playing)
I remember, it was 10 years ago,
I was in second grade, and I'm now a senior,
I remember the event, 9-11.
The teacher's had ushered us into a classroom
to look at a TV of an airplane hitting a building.
And we saw people crying and upset,
and I didn't understand why at the time.
I have to admit life has changed significantly
in the last 10 years.
Let's take a look and see what's been happening,
what's changed today.
10 years ago on September 11th 2001,
a group of terrorist called Al Qaeda
was an extremist group who was led by Osama bin Laden.
These terrorists were ordered to fly to America
and carry out a plan involving hitting four buildings
at the same time.

It was a clear morning on September 11th.
There were between 16,000 to 18,000 people
who were working or in the World Trade Center.
The World Trade Center wasn't just one building,
it was seven buildings.
With a very large plaza, with an underground building.
It was a mall where people were shopping.
But the most impressive were the twin towers.
The twin towers that stood tall,
110 stories high.
On that day, it was a perfect day, a nice day.
People had come to work and were going to school
and mulling about.
There are people in-line at the airport
purchasing tickets,
but no one knew that there were also 19 terrorists present.
They were not noted.
The planes flew out.
And around 8:46 AM,
the first of four flights would hit one of the twin towers.
(music playing)
The second plane would soon hit the second tower
and cause it to crumble.

As I watched, I saw one of the towers
have smoke coming from it.
And I thought something has gone wrong,
something had been hit.
It looked bad.
Within a few minutes,
I saw smoke coming out of the second tower.
I was working at RIT in food service
at that time,
and I had been preparing food.
And there were many of my coworkers who had started
running around and crying and being upset.
I didn't know what was going on.
As a deaf person among all hearing people,
I was just kind of just isolated myself there.
When all of a sudden, my boss comes up and said,
"I need to speak to you in private."
So I followed my boss to see what's going on
and she shows me a TV screen.
And I am just shocked, it was the World Trade Center,
they look like they were ready to collapse.
I immediate thought-- My family.
I'm originally from New Jersey,
and I have many family and friends
who are in New York City.
So when I saw this, I was speechless.
I was dumbfounded. I froze.
I started calling my mother and my father.
and calling everybody I could reach,
everyone who I knew in New Jersey
to see what was going on, if they were okay.
As the tower stood 110 stories high,
a plane crashes into it.
The gas ignites an explosion, engulfing it in fire.
The foundation and the trusses are weak.
The building crumbles.
And it leaves behind 17 floors of wreckage.
I remember--
I remember the awful feeling inside
as you watched
the towers crumbling.
The fear of what was happening to all those people.
And then, for weeks and weeks to follow,
after 9/11,
watching on TV and learning of the families,
and the children and the parents,
and really grieving.

The morning, 9:37 am,
the third airplane, Flight 77,
would depart to the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
The people on the plane would all die
including 125 people who were in the Pentagon as well.
There are two things as I recall that hit me the most about 9/11.
One was where I was.
At that time, I was at Gallaudet University,
in 2001.
And I recall seeing the plane coming down
and hitting the Pentagon.
You could see the smoke from our dorm.
And at that time I started thinking,
is it safe in DC, is it safe New York.
And we had just watched live the twin towers crumble on TV.
So that really hit me.
The second thing that really impacted me
was what was going on with everybody.
My family grew up in New York.
It was very close to home. The hit was very close to home.
And I thought that can never happen in America,
we're safe here.
And I appreciate where we've come from that.
That experience has made us closer,
more united, more supportive as a whole.
For me, it was very interesting, a very powerful time of my life.
I was working in Virginia, in the public school,
and I was teaching ASL.
The Pentagon was just a stone's throw away,
30, 40 miles from my school that I was teaching at.
The parents of those students worked for the government,
and my student's parents did as well, in the Virginia and DC area.
And that day when the planes hit,
there were so many of my students at the school
whose parents worked for the government,
were in Washington, DC, were in Virginia.
It was terror and chaos.
It was a really amazing and powerful experience for me.
I'm glad that my family is okay but I feel for those people
who suffered losses.
I was at Gallaudet.
I was taking a life-guarding class.
We were in the swimming pool when one student comes down.
We have an area of glass that you can see through so
students can be monitored.
This one student says to us in the pool,
that a plane had just hit.
I'm thinking it's a small plane, insignificant as it happens.
And as I left class, I went to the library,
to the Center.
And they're all watching TV.
And as I see, sure enough,
the whole class is talking about what's happening.
It was-- You can see the smoke coming from the Pentagon.
We didn't know if it was true or not.
We didn't know if it was accidental or terroristic.
I will never understand or be able to explain
that fear you experienced at the Pentagon.
I was a junior in high school, maybe a sophomore-junior.
And they were talking this state-standardized test.
But because I passed the test,
they separated out the groups of kids who'd pass
with the group who needed to continue the test.
And all of a sudden, the teachers bring in
this large TV, and they start telling us
that a plane has hit one of the towers.
The second plane hadn't hit yet.
And we're watching, and we see the plane,
on the news, hit, and everyone was just kind of shocked.
During break time,
we wanna mix with all the students but they're not
allowing it because of the state-standardized test,
they don't wanna disturb the testing.
So we're sitting there and bearing with it, waiting.
At lunch time, they decided to hold the test for the day
and let the students know what happened.

The fourth flight, Flight #93,
was 20 minutes from DC.
On that flight were terrorists.
The terrorists took control of the plane.
And their plan was to crash it into the Whitehouse
or the Capitol, in DC.
The passengers got wind of it from families and friends
over cell phones.
They've got wind of what have had happened
with the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
And the damage and deaths that have already occurred.
And they learned that they were going to crash their plane
into the government buildings.
So the passengers took control.
They apprehended the terrorists, a fight ensued,
and the plane crashed in Western Pennsylvania.
The passengers all died. We thank these heroes.
We honor them for saving our lives and lives of innocents.
Thank you.

I think what really impacts me is the change in our view.
Our view on the world and globalization.
I always thought of it as "us" and "them."
Us and over there.
Not realizing how close we are.
It made the world a much smaller place than before.
I used to think that the world was so big,
nothing could happen to us.
But it happens to everyone.
As the plane hit, the world, immediately I thought,
would dissolve.
And one of the things that I've noticed,
that here in Austin, I thought that was gonna be an issue
because your president was a Texas president.
I was afraid we were next.
And I was afraid that we had to look to see what other towns
would be targeted.
It was very scary, I think it's something
you always have to be prepared for.
People say that if you fight in the morning,
you need to say "I forgive you" before you leave
because you never know when and what
your last words of the day would be.
Sure enough, before it's gone.

9/11 was the worst terroristic attack
on America-- In the history of America.
3,000 people were killed from the 93 nations,
2,753 killed in New York City,
184 were killed at the Pentagon,
and 40 were killed on Flight 93.
This is a horrible thing, 3,000 innocent people died.
That's very disconcerting.
When you look at the people of the US,
the teachers, the workers, the nurses, the doctors,
the police, the firemen,
who all came out in droves in New York City,
thousands upon thousands, to support, to provide clothing
to provide food, to provide money,
to provide everything that they could do to help
and what was needed.
We also recognize in America today,
here in the US, just looking around
just see the flags in your work, in your schools,
everywhere you'll look you'll see displayed,
the proud American.

My cousin herself is a paramedic,
so she was helping transport people
to New Jersey, to get them out, to get them safe.
When I asked my cousin about her experience,
she'll never speak of it.
We never talked about it to this day if I say,
"Can you tell me a little bit about what was going on?"
She refuses to talk.

9/11, I was teaching kindergarten,
in a public mainstream school with some deaf kids
who were mixed in.
And when we heard this,
we shuffled the kids off into a private area.
And the teachers watched.
We watched heartbroken, in fear,
wondering later how we would explain
to these children what had occurred.
How would we tell them?
Would we tell the truth?
Would we keep parts of it private?
It was a very sad time,
and we thought about how it impacts such young kids.
And now, those kids, I guess, are 10 or 11.
They're growing up.
They're living with those life lessons,
and that was a tough one.

For me, I remember 9/11.
I was in second grade.
And at that time, I had no idea
what was going on or what it meant.
I saw them talk about the smoke.
But I said, so what?
It was later after that, that my parents talked to me
about the history, the cause, what came in to 9-11.
And there was one story that brings goose bumps to me.
It was about a man who is blind,
who had a seeing-eye dog, who helped him.
The man was in his office working.
And for no reason whatsoever,
'cause the planes hadn't hit the towers yet,
the dog felt something going on.
He knew something was happening related to the airplane.
So, dog became to pull the man.
He pulled the man trying to encourage him to come,
and the man wouldn't.
And the dog kept doing this persistently
until the man finally followed him.
He got to the elevator.
And the man wanted to get in the elevator,
and the dog wouldn't let him get on the elevator.
And he struggles.
The man finally acquiescing
he goes down 68th flights of stairs.
Can you imagine walking down, this blind man,
68th flights of stairs,
flights of stairs until he gets out?
One blind man who's saved,
but that's just one story.
It's amazing.

9-11 happened 10 years ago.
It's part of our history, we should remember.
But we also need to heal and move forward.
New York City has that feeling.
They built the Freedom Tower
and the National Museum,
the Memorial,
The Memorial which is a waterfall,
a waterfall that sinks in the reverse shape
of the towers, the same place that the towers
were engineered.
Engineered just like the twin towers in reverse.
It's a place for people to go, to relax, to remember,
and to move on.
And as you look,
people feel relieved.

Today, on the 10th anniversary,
it's healthy for us to stop and to appreciate
all of the freedoms that we have.
Freedoms we have here.
And we have to understand where our nation,
the United States of America,
had to fight for our protection and our safeties.
So, for today,
let's forget the terrorists,
and all of the negativity that was focused.
And let's look at the positives and cherish our U.S.A.
All of the soldiers that have fought
to protect our rights.
Thank you.

As I look back 10 years ago,
it was a horrible event.
We will never forget 9/11.
We must honor those who have died.
And we must honor those people who have worked
to keep America moving forward with the right spirit.