9-11 Ten Years Later

Emilians, today is September 11, 2011.

To many of us, September 11 is usually just another day, but on that day ten years ago, everything changed for us and the world we live in.

Suddenly, the dastardly plots of death we only see in the movies become all too real, but not on a scale this big…and it turns out you don’t need a nuclear bomb or poison gas to sow terror among the populace. Just more ingenious methods to make it happen.

Anyone who have vivid memories can remember where they were that Tuesday. To the Emilians on our side of the globe, some of us were having a drink, completing our assignments, preparing our lesson plans for the following day, or logging more minutes on duty…

…then the news came in.

We first thought that the plane hitting the World Trade Center’s North Tower was simply an accident, but to have one medium-sized jet ‘accidentally’ striking a building in broad daylight beggared belief.

That is until United Flight 175 slammed into the South Tower – and more hell broke loose.

We stood in shock as people in the immediate area of the Towers were forced to head up north and away from them. We saw images of brave firefighters coming into the buildings to rescue as many people as they can and of police officers trying to shepherd those on the streets to safety elsewhere in Lower Manhattan. Many of us could barely hold back our tears seeing people fall to their deaths.

It took at least one hour for two of the biggest symbols of the Western world’s prosperity to go down and leave us all reeling about the thousands of people entombed alive inside them. However, things did not go all the terrorists’ way, because of the valiant defiance and heroic sacrifice of the passengers of Flight 93.

People are saying that going to war against the terrorists who did this is not the answer, but try telling it to those who lost loved ones in the Towers and at the Pentagon – let’s see if you don’t go home in pieces. At the same time, the entire world mourned their loss and the sacrifices. The casualty count was not just exclusive to US nationals; there were people from across the world who were starting off another workday pursuing the American Dream. There were 20 Filipinos who died in those towers and aboard the planes. Even if none of them are Emilians, we share the grief of our fellow blood siblings over there, the loved ones they left behind.

Ten years is a long time, and much has happened in our school and the world since then. In those heady days of September 2001, we were still having to cope with the stabbing incident in Gonzales St, and the CAS was ironing out the final kinks before CAS Week. Your student publication was going through the paces of producing its first magazine of the year …

…and made the fatal mistake of publishing the picture of the WTC Tourist Guy in a Chat-Raw Aguinaldo survey article. We were led back then by people with strong convictions about student journalism. On the world scene, things were more innocent, but the events of that day changed everything.

Now, ten years later, our school facilities have improved, the place is relatively “secure” and attracting much attention in spite of lower enrollment figures and Grampa Campos, Doc Eisma, and Dean Sus have long since been called home. Your publication has been subverted thrice to corrupt advisers who don’t know jack what responsible journalism is like, but possess doctorate degrees in propaganda, the degradation of the paper’s quality, and sunshine journalism. It is also led by an Editorial Board and an editor-in-chief chosen through dubious means and a figurative act of mass murder.

We have seen America strike back in Afghanistan and took it much further with Guantanamo and a war in Iraq, but have taken pains to scale down its presence there. The purported brains behind the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was caught at last and Osama bin Laden killed a few months ago. Two senators in different countries took over as presidents from people who ruled for the better part of a decade.

As a new decade looms before us, the world must still be vigilant and expunge the terrorists that walk among us.

NEVER FORGET 9/11, EMILIANS.

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