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Here are excerpts from some of the poems, letters and essays NeXt has received from local young people reacting to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.


I don't know who you are
But I feel I know what you're going through
That you just lost a loved one,
Just one of thousands ended by evil,
Them traveling home to see you once again,
But you will see them only in your dreams,
Going to work to take care of you
But you - you're on your own,
You'll find the strength to go on,
Maybe not today or tomorrow,
Your heart will heal,
The scars will still be there,
But someday,
You'll go to the table in the corner of the room,
And sit beside it and look at the pictures,
The memories will come alive,
And you'll somehow find that knowing this person for just one whole day
Is better than none.
But don't worry,
You will see them again.

- Lauren Demitry, Grade 8, Orchard Park Middle


September 11 was the date
When so many people were lost to fate;
The rich, the poor, the young, the old
the loving, the caring, the meek and the bold
Were lost, spared, lucky and . . . not
but no one could stop the vicious plot
Where the impossible seemed unbearably real
And truthfully there was so much to feel;
Anger, sadness, confusion and fright,
And a hope that the terror would end with the night
Although the sadness remains in the hearts of the living, Can we move on and start forgiving
Those misguided souls who caused so much pain?
Our lives from now on will never be the same.

- Kira DesJardins, 13, Orchard Park Middle


. . . No other historical event has hit me quite so realistically as what happened on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Four planes were hijacked and purposely crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania forest. (It was suggested that the passengers overthrew the hijackers and ended up crashing.) Now I say this with the deepest sorrow; many lives were lost in the crashes and I felt anger as well as sympathy and sadness. The movies and clips I saw were just terrible. However, these were real and it is something I have to deal with.

- Marc Bridon, Orchard Park

'It was frightening'

My social studies teacher asked us how the attack affected us.

Well, this attack affected me a lot. I am a Muslim, and many people suspect it is a Muslim who did it. My family doesn't practice our religion 24 hours a day, but I know that whatever that person did was wrong and that this is a major insult to Muslims' pride, because it is against Islam.

When I saw the pictures of the Palestinians cheering, I thought of how people think Muslims are cheering over this. But we're not. I felt like crying when I saw the people of Palestine, just like any other American citizen.

I did not feel happy or feel like celebrating. And I don't think anyone should be.

It was frightening watching the towers collapse. They have been there since before I was born. . . How could someone destroy something like those buildings and even more special, the lives of those precious souls?

- Tara Ashraf, 12, Transit Middle School

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