"The Day Innocence Died" (Poetry of witness) I was a mere seven years old on the day that the Twin Towers collapsed. But I remember it very clearly and vividly. RIP to all the 2,000 victims who died.

"it's been sixteen years..." They say.


For me, it happened just yesterday.

that's what it feels like.

I remember-I remember, how can I forget-

how bright and clear the sky was then

bright, innocent, (deceitful), the shiniest blue, no clouds to be found

back then I should've seen through that disguise

I should've known, that on that day, evil didn't come to us, it flew.

It flew to us on many wings, taking innocents hostage as it did, laughing fiendishly.

I still recall-oh, back then, when I was too innocent, too small, to be confronted with such evil. (Nonetheless, it came to my face anyway and demanded to be confronted.)

All us children, laughing and playing-when suddenly, in come our teachers, with faces the color of gray.

We wondered why, but they smiled and told us everything would be okay, we just had to eat lunch in our classrooms-slight change of plans-things would be all right if we just waited and did as they told us to do-we just needed to be patient and figure out what was happening.

I smiled, and did as the teachers told us to do, we all went down and got our lunches, bunches and bunches of us, laughing, talking, never having the slightest hunch that our lives were all changed forever.

Had we known-oh, had we known-how could we have known-I think all of us would have felt guilty for laughing that day.

We ate and laughed and were taught our school subjects, but then we were told that our parents would be coming.

Smiling, the child loves getting picked up early so no one questions it.

I was a very happy little kid, getting picked up early was great.

So I wait and wait and wait and then in comes mother-in she comes, with the whitest face I've ever seen and the darkest expression in her eyes, though she is smiling, her eyes are not.

I am not told a thing, I am just put in the car and she drives me back home.

Not until later on the news do I see the evil before me.

I head upstairs, my little feet slamming up them, to go switch the channel to Cartoon Network, I switch on the television, and the news people are on, speaking.

I don't really pay attention to their news very much, they do a lot of talking and yelling. The people on there today look really sad.

I see the words "Trade" and "World" on it and "Attack"...but the words don't make much sense to me. When I hear "trade" and "attack" I think of Pokemon, which makes me wonder if they're Pokemon fans.

The lady is showing us an image of a new movie-a movie where a building is on fire.

Smoke is pouring out of the building, two buildings, actually.

And people are screaming in it.

A movie I can't watch, I'm too young to.

Someone will come in and turn it off.

But no one does.

Confused, I keep watching.

I listen more to the news lady's words.

"Today, at 8:45 a.m, the North Tower of the World Trade Center was struck by a plane in an apparent terrorist attack. The South Tower was also hit at 9:05 a.m. Both buildings have collapsed, with mass casualties expected. The Pentagon was hit, and a fourth plane crashed in Shanksville."

I do not understand all the words.

But I understand enough about death and suffering from movies, so I understand that when a building crashes (like when Saiyan Ape Goku smashes a mountain with his fists) that people are in it and that they're hurt.

At that second, my mind stops. I suddenly have a pit of dread, something I cannot lose ever again-


Because this is something no child should ever figure out

My seven year old mind registers, that people on a plane were minding their own business-people like me...they flew into a tower filled with people, men, women, people like me, the plane disappeared, the people on it were up in heaven, the men and women in the towers were screaming, and the buildings collapsed with people still in them, screaming.

I see footage of people running in the streets, of "Ground Zero" being looked at, of raw ash and smoke, of people covered in gray stuff, crying and screaming.

People died.

People were killed by a bad guy, like on Drag0nball Z.

This World Trade Center place was a place good (innocent) people were in when the bad guy attacked and hurt them real bad. Some of them won't be coming back at all.

I didn't know what a terrorist was but I knew that terror meant to be scared, so I knew they were trying to scare people, but I didn't get why someone woudl hurt someone to scare them.

At that moment, my mind told me: this world is not safe for you anymore. We are under attack.

It is drilled into my brain by President Bush-as they invade Iran and Iraq and I watch the news early in the morning.

it is drilled into my head as they talk of "Saddam" and "Al-Qaeda" and "Bin Laden," all strange words I'd never heard of before.

Now, now, I see that we are once again on the brink of war and I wish I had the eyes and ears of a child again. So I could ignore the terror of feeling like we're all going to die because of the mistakes our leaders made.

So I could just forget people out there want me dead.

So I could just be normal.

But, I think, as I stare at the biographies of 9/11 I hold...and notice that the date is five days from now, I must remember. Their stories must be told.

I am a witness to their trials and their suffering.

I, a total stranger.

I, who had Shanksville happen in my home state.

I, who had no knowledge of or intimacy with the Towers.

I, who continue to speak out wherever I see intolerance and brutality.

I, who worry about the safety of others every single day.

I, who wonder...what if we had avoided it all?

What if those towers had escaped?

What if it had been the White House? The Capitol?

The questions never end.

I, who was obsessed with Titanic for most of their young life, never realized that a major catastrophe happened right in front of my nose.

I want to tell you.

Do not forget their voices, their names, their words.

It's been sixteen years, yes, but for the victims, scarcely a moment has passed since their tragic ends.