25 years old. Irish American. Roman Catholic. Nerd. This Tumblr will be an experiment in writing/commenting on/for all people, places and things that interest me.

Broadway. Harry Potter. Disney. Hugh Jackman. The Hunger Games. Doctor Who. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Starkid. Music. Movies. Books. University of Michigan. Football.



8:30 PM, September 11, 2001

President George W. Bush Addresses the Nation

Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.

The victims were in airplanes or in their offices — secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers. Moms and dads. Friends and neighbors.

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C., to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow.

Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.

None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.


We face the horrors of the day not to relive the pain, but to remember the fallen… the true faces of heroism. Never shall we forget. Never shall we let our guard down again.

This we promise.


President George W. Bush speaks to emergency workers on 9/14/01.

America today is on bended knee, in prayer for the lives that were lost here, the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. This nation stands with the good people of New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut- as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens. I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear from all of us soon. The nation sends its love and compassion. To everybody who is here - thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud. And may God Bless America.

Justice will be served, and the battle will rage. This big dog will bite when you rattle his cage. You’ll be sorry you ever messed with the U.S. of A. ‘Cause we’ll put a bullet in your ass - it’s the American way. Hey, Uncle Sam, put your name at the top of his list, and the Statue of Liberty started shakin’ her fist. And the eagle will fly. Man, it’s gonna be hell when you hear Mother Freedom start ringin’ her bell, and it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on you. Brought to you courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.


Remember those who died, remember the tragedy, remember what brought this country together 11 years ago, remember what this country is fighting for…9/11.

Can’t forget, won’t forgive


10:28 AM, September 11, 2001

The North Tower of the World Trade Center Collapses


10:15 AM, September 11, 2001

The Pentagon’s E Ring Collapses


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

-Maya Angelou


10:03 AM, September 11, 2001

Flight 93 Crashes in a Field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania


9:59 AM, September 11, 2001

The South Tower of the World Trade Center Collapses


9:37 AM, September 11, 2001

Flight 77 Crashes into the West Facade of the Pentagon

We Are All Americans: The World’s Response to 9/11


In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, people all over the world stood shoulder-to-shoulder in mourning, solidarity, sympathy and friendship with the people of the United States. Here are a few of those international reactions, both organized and spontaneous, that occurred in the days following September 11, 2001.

In London, the Star Spangled Banner played during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, while traffic came to a standstill in The Mall nearby.

In Beijing, tens of thousands of people visited the U.S. Embassy, leaving flowers, cards, funeral wreaths and hand-written notes of condolence on the sidewalk out front.

In Moscow, women who spoke no English and had never been to the U.S. were captured on film sobbing in front of a makeshift tribute on a sidewalk, and every single church and monastery in Romania held a memorial prayer.

In France, a well-known newspaper, Le Monde, ran a headline reading, “We Are All Americans.”

In the Middle East, both the Israeli president and the Palestinian leader condemned the attacks, and made a show of donating blood.

Kuwaitis lined up to donate blood as well. Jordanians signed letters of sympathy.

In Tehran, an entire stadium of people gathered for a soccer match observed a moment of silence, and in Turkey, flags flew at half-mast.

In Berlin, 200,000 people packed the streets leading to the Brandenburg Gate.

A thousand miles south, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, schoolchildren took a break from classes to bow their heads in silence.

In Dublin, shops and pubs were closed during a national day of mourning, and people waited in a three-hour line to sign a book of condolences.

In Sweden, Norway and Finland, trams and buses halted in tribute, and in Russia, television and radio stations went silent to commemorate the innocent dead.

In Azerbaijan, Japan, Greenland, Bulgaria and Tajiskitan, people gathered in squares to light candles, murmur good wishes and pray. And in Pretoria, South Africa, little kids perched on their parents’ shoulders holding mini American flags.

Firefighters in Hungary tied black ribbons to their trucks, firefighters in South Africa flew red, white and blue, and firefighters in Poland sounded their sirens, letting loose a collective wail one warm afternoon.

Cubans offered medical supplies. Ethiopians offered prayers. Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan offered their air space, and dozens of other world leaders called the White House to offer their support.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Canada, Albania and Sierra Leone marched in the streets in shows of solidarity, and mosques in Bangladesh, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya and Sudan trembled with clerics’ condemnation of those “cowardly” and “un-Islamic” attacks.

Lebanese generals convened to sign letters of sympathy, and in Italy, Pope John Paul II fell to his knees in prayer.

Albania, Ireland, Israel, Canada, Croatia, South Korea and the Czech Republic all declared national days of mourning, and the legendary bells of Notre Dame echoed throughout Paris.

In Italy, race car drivers preparing for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix silenced their engines, and in London, hundreds stood quietly during the noontime chimes of Big Ben.

In Belgium, people held hands, forming a human chain in front of the Brussels World Trade Center, and seventeen time zones away, strangers in Indonesia gathered on a beach to pray.

In India, children taped up signs that read, “This is an attack on all of us,” and in Austria, church bells tolled in unison.


9:03 AM, September 11, 2001 - 

Flight 175 Crashes into the World Trade Center’s South Tower

I was twelve years old.


It was about 9:15 in the morning, and I sat with the rest of my 7th grade homeroom class at our weekly Catholic Mass. After our pastor had reached the front of the altar and the music from the opening hymn ended, he turned to the students of our Catholic school, from the kindergarteners to the eighth graders, and took a moment’s pause.

"The Lord be with you," he said, holding out his arms.
"And also with you," we mumbled back, some of us wiping the sleep out of our eyes.

But he didn’t continue as normal; instead, he asked us all that on that morning, our prayers were extra special. He told us that our prayers needed to be extra strong, for there had been a “terrible plane crash in New York City” that morning, and there were many of our fellow brothers and sisters who would need our prayers. He stared at us for longer than usual, and I remember looking over at my homeroom teacher, whose jaw was set firmly. Over across the aisle sat my favorite teacher, Mr. Jones, and even his usually stern face looked graver than normal.

The rest of the Mass continued without any other break from ceremony, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of the tension in the faculty. So I bowed my head, and I sent my prayers to my beautiful New York City, the place an avid Broadway nerd (even at 12) longed to see for herself.

Throughout the rest of the school day passed quickly and in a bout of confusion. The teachers kept running in and out of the rooms to talk to each other; we had never had such a distracted faculty before this. Looking back, I now identify it as a quiet panic. Our principal made an announcement that the school would be put on lockdown - no one was to enter or exit without special permission.

That didn’t stop the groups of parents from unceremoniously removing their kids from the classrooms in a rush. As more and more of my classmates left, the teachers found it harder and harder to avoid explanation to the older kids. It was my old volleyball coach and then-phys ed teacher — who held our class that day in an empty classroom since we couldn’t leave the building to go to the gym — who decided to share just enough to inform, but not enough to terrify.

By the end of the day, it was clear that there had been an attack in New York, and our lockdown was a precaution just in case the culprits wanted to spread out across the country. And so the 7th grade boys were quick to point out the absurdities — How was keeping us locked up in a building going to stop some evil guys from bombing the building? Doesn’t that just make it easier? 

Those kind of jokes continued.

Until my mom showed up at the end of the day to get me. I saw the look on her face, and I felt the way she pulled me into a bone crushing hug with my siblings. It wasn’t the normal after-school routine. It was then I started to think that maybe that day didn’t just affect people in New York.

I was twelve years old. My idea of New York City was what I knew from those old movies I loved to watch with my grandpa. It was what Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly called “a helluva town” while they danced about in their sailor suits. It was where Broadway lived, where I dreamed of making it big. It was pavement and skyscrapers and the Empire State Building, and millions of people walking and hailing taxis. I had no idea what the World Trade Center was.

My father, to this day, is the hardest working man I know. And because of the nature of his job, he had very long hours, and, especially on a Tuesday, we wouldn’t expect to see him until at least ten. So when we finally got home, and Dad’s car was parked in the garage, my stomach dropped. When we got in the house, my dad was sitting on the edge of the couch, staring at the television, the volume full blast. His eyes darted to look at my mom.

"World War III just started," he croaked.

I had never seen my dad look the way he did then. I had seen him mad before. Goodness knows, I had been the cause of some pretty epic scoldings. But there was a mix of pure, unadulterated rage with a look of terror that I never want to see on my father’s face again.

We spent that night huddled in our living room, watching the news. I don’t even recall having any kind of meal; I wouldn’t have wanted to eat anyway. Dad spent a good hour or so explaining what the World Trade Center was, what Al Quada was, what terrorism really meant. While he explained, my mom cried for hours and hours, her eyes never leaving the images on the television — the explosions, the planes, the people, the ash, the smoke, the despair. 

Those images that will always stick with me for as long as I live sparked an understanding and an anger in me that has not left. This is my country. This is my home. No one comes into my country, my home and killsanybody. I hated that I felt so scared and so sad. I had never felt that way, and I will never forget that feeling….and will never take for granted the security and freedom I have in this country. I understood why my parents and grandparents had always stressed that you thank a soldier, that we are the luckiest people on the earth because we are American.

Watching those towers fall felt like an actual wound in my chest. And the feeling remains every time I see it even eleven years later. 

I will never forget what happened on this day. I will never forget the images — the planes crashing and exploding into the Twin Towers; those indestructible pillars of the USA crumbling in ash and dust and fire; people literally flinging their bodies from the top floors, feeling it better to smash to the earth than to be burned alive; the crowds of New Yorkers running and screaming, covered in ash and soot and dirt; the firefighters running towards the chaos, ready to do their job….

Never Forget. Never forget those men and women and children who were senselessly killed by terrorist. Never forget the men and women who lost loved ones and the children who lost parents. Never forget those heroes who did everything in their power to save as many lives as they could. Never forget the people on Flight 93 who knew they were going down, but wouldn’t go down without a fight. Never forget how our military landed every single, solitary airplane/helicopter/etc. over the entire nation in less than an hour. Never forget that this tragedy hit every single person even if they weren’t in NYC on that day. Never forget. Never, ever forget.

God bless them. God bless you. God Bless America. I love my country.