College Application Essay: Writing Assignment #1: Amherst/Lynchburg College

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11 September 2002

[Editor’s Note:  (1) This brief essay was written for my twelfth grade English class.  I do not recall precisely what the assignment had been.  (2) I have no clue why this essay has the title is has, but I’ve definitely never applied to either Amherst College or Lynchburg College.  (3) I made some very minor touchups, such as changing Al Qida to al-Qaeda.]

For the past year, America has been on edge; the American people have lived with anger and sadness from an event that took place one year ago, and in fear that another similar event may take place again.  One year ago, the worst act of terrorism on American soil took place: a couple planes flew into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, bringing them to the ground, and another plane flew into the side of the pentagon.

For the past year since September eleventh, 2001—the day of the terrorist attack—the lives of Americans have been changing as people have tried to comprehend and accept what happened.  The first thing to be affected was entertainment.  All sporting events scheduled for September eleventh were cancelled.  People were worried about the influence of and on music, particularly rock.  Many songs were voluntarily pulled from radio and television.  For example, the song “Bodies” by DROWNING POOL stopped being aired on the music channels, even though the song was simply about moshing.  In the end, it was music that helped some get through that horrible event.  Comedy helped as well, but immediately after the attacks, people questioned whether it was appropriate to laugh.  The LATE SHOW with David Letterman was the first of the comedy shows to resume broadcast, leading the wave of resurgence for comedy.  Other shows, however, weren’t as fortunate.  Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher received harsh criticism after Maher criticized the manor in which George Walker Bush, president of the United States, was handling the situation.  The show suffered and experienced major setbacks for Bill’s comments, even though his comments were all protected by the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Politically Incorrect was eventually cancelled.  Movies dealing with terrorism or related subjects were held back from their original release dates.  Eventually, though, things in America started to get back into order, and the people have started to regain some sense of stability.

Now, one year later, the feeling in America is once again very tense.  Americans are remembering the events that they have tried to repress for the past year.  An influx of threats concerning another terrorist attack has been coming in.  The American people haven’t been as fearful as they are now since September of 2001.  Americans were afraid of another attack occurring on any or all of the major U.S. holidays of the past year.  Americans were afraid when anthrax began appearing in envelopes distributed through the mail.  Americans were afraid when we started attacking Afghanistan.  But now, more than ever before since September of 2001, Americans have something of which to be fearful:  With war in Iraq imminent and an anniversary attack from al-Qaeda very possible, emotions are running high, and Americans are worried about the future.  Nobody knows what to expect next, neither from foreign threats nor from their own government.

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