How I Coped With the Tragedy of September 11, 2001

Everyone has a different method for coping with tragedy. Some pray, some rest, others show a range of emotions.

For the most part, I usually turn to some type of work for dealing with the negative. My thought is that taking negative energy and creating something positive with it is a win-win situation. You’ve coped with the issue while still accomplishing something good.

As an acne-faced junior at Niagara Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Niagara Falls, NY, I watched in disbelief on September 11, 2001 as the second plane hit World Trade Center II. I was in social studies class at the time, and thankfully despite the order from school officials, Mrs. Bryk turned on the TV so her class could see what was going on.

When I went home, I was glued to Peter Jennings on ABC News. I was also well-versed in TV PCI Cards – a piece of technology that allows you to hook cable in to your computer for viewing and/or recording. I was capturing bits and pieces of press conferences and footage, eventually editing it all down and producing two separate pieces on the event – basically montages of video from the day.

A year later, as a senior and Student Council President, I wanted to put together a piece more moving. I taught myself Adobe Premiere and produced the following. We showed it school-wide on the one-year anniversary of the attacks, and after I signed up for a YouTube channel in college, I thought it might be a good idea to upload it.

Since my days at Niagara Catholic, I have continued to use Adobe Premiere. Everything you’ve watched from me since was edited using the software.

There are far more inspiring, profound stories of courage after the attacks of 9/11. But for me, the attacks inspired me to push my boundaries further and create more. After all, as we’ve been reminded time and time again, life is short.

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