Joseph Fenity works as an Assignment Editor for News 4 WOAI. Six months after the 9/11 attacks, the then 16-year-old high schooler left his home in Texas to report on the events of September 11th from a youth perspective. The text below has been taken from the journal he wrote in documenting his journey to Ground Zero.
WOAI.COM -- Long before I joined News 4 WOAI's Assignment Desk I was already chasing down stories that I knew people could personally connect to. When I was just 16-years-old I left my hometown in Hays County and went to New York City's "ground zero" in hopes of finding some type of closure to a story I felt too connected to: the attacks on 9/11. The feelings and emotions we all experienced in the wake of September 11, 2001 had me so sad and so confused.
You likely felt some of the same feelings and had many of the questions as I did.
As an American teenager, I probably had even more questions. Something inside of me said I had to be there. Initially I wasn't sure what "be there" actually meant. But soon it became clear that "there" was exactly what kept flashing on all of our television screens. "There" was a place over 1,800 miles northeast of San Antonio.
My 16-year-old mind just couldn't comprehend exactly what happened to us on that Tuesday morning in September of 2001. And since I wasn't waking up from this bad dream, I had to find a way to prove to myself this was in fact no bad dream at all.
Still in Texas, and haunted by what I was calling "America's nightmare," I suddenly began to notice that every person on TV and radio talking about these tragic 9/11 events were adults. Furthermore, all of the people these reporters were talking to and interviewing were also adults.
So, what about the kids on 9/11? How was America's youth impacted by the events of that horrible day? Did other teenagers in America feel the same way this one did?
In the spring of 2002 – exactly six month after Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 – I flew from Texas to New York City's Stuyvesant High School to find some answers to all of my unanswered questions.
LISTEN TO JOSEPH FENITY'S JOURNEY TO NEW YORK 6 MONTHS AFTER 9/11