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Inter generational Healing

A bit ago my granddaughter interviewed me for her class project .

She asked me about my time working in the World Trade Center and my feelings about it destruction and the deaths of the innocent people inside.

In honor of all the people who died on 9/11/01 and all the lives lost since, it’s my honor to share Jazmine’s report .

Jazmine A. Silver

World History

12/15/16

2nd Period

World History Interview Project

I.

A. I have chosen to interview Samsarah Morgan. She is my father’s mother; my grandmother.

B. I chose her because she worked at the World Trade Center. She and her past co workers she cared about were affected by the 9/11 attack.

II.

A. On September 11, 2001, Islamic extremists hijacked four airplanes that were going across the United States. There was a total of 19 terrorists which were all from a group called Al Qaeda, financed by Osama bin Laden. Two of the airplanes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. First, one of the planes crashed into the North Tower and after 20 minutes, the second plane crashed into the South Tower. Then the third plane crashed into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. Lastly, the fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. These attacks, known as 9/11, resulted in major destruction and caused death for over 3,000 people. Millions watched as the events occurred and America would never be the same.

B. This event caused there to be changes in policies and led to people being paranoid. This inspired a strict system created by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This creates a difficult and annoying process when attempting to aboard an airplane. Before the event, all you needed to do to go onto a plane was to have your ticket. Now, you have to go through an extensive check and certain items are not allowed past the checkpoint. Also, 9/11 lead to negative views of Muslim people as a whole. From this, many people referred to all Muslims as terrorists even though a very small percentage of their population is doing harm. 9/11 made people more fearful and worried for the future.

C. My grandmother, Samsarah Morgan, worked at the World Trade Center in Tower One. At the time of the event, she was no longer employed there, but she knew people that were and many others who were directly affected by the event. She was born and raised in New York, and still considers herself a New Yorker to this day, so the incident caused her much pain from the destruction of her city.

III.

A. My interviewee is Samsarah Morgan. She is my dad’s mother. She was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1960. However, she currently lives in Oakland. Her main occupation is being a doula, a person who supports a woman throughout her pregnancy, labor, and birth of her child, and doula trainer.

B. When she was 23 years old, a friend of the family, who worked at the World Trade Center, recommended her to also work there at Tower One. They were looking for looking for a receptionist. She was excited about this opportunity because she wanted to get into banking. When applying for the job, she had all the requirements to become a receptionist, but she still told her branch manager that she really just wanted to be a broker. He hired her knowing that that was her intention. Her first year working there, she was the receptionist. However, she became a broker once she passed the exam. Fortunately, Charles Schwab had a policy that anyone who came to work for them could take the brokers exam. They offered free training online so that anyone who was an employee could take the online classes. All together, she worked there for about five years.

At the time, my grandmother was a young, single mother. This job would allow her to be able to support her two children at the time, my father and his twin brother, since it gave a good, steady income. Before this job, she had such difficulty earning enough money for her family that she had to sell her previous house, so she moved in with her mother.

Working at the World Trade Center was very exciting for her being able to go from Brooklyn to Manhattan for work. Working there gave opportunities for her because you didn’t need a college degree to work there and, at the time, she didn’t have one. She became friends with many people as she worked there.

The most exciting event while working there was when there was a bomb threat that was called in. She was the one who had taken the call since that was when she was the receptionist. The person on the other end of the call simply said, “Fifteen minutes.” At first, she was confused as to what that meant. She wasn’t given a protocol for that situation beforehand but she felt that it would be important to tell her branch manager. She then went to her boss to report was she had just heard. Right away, he called the police. By then, all of the brokers had left, except her and her branch manager. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing. Charles Schwab, the owner, then called her later on. He thanked and appreciated her and told her how brave she was. He was grateful the she stayed with the branch manager and answered questions. It then dawned on her how brave she actually was, and how she probably shouldn’t have done that. When my grandmother looks back at that event from the present, she thought about, “… how young and silly I was. I have children! I should have gotten the heck out of there!” During her time working at the World Trade Center, there were many drills for these cases.

Overall, she enjoyed her time working there. From the present, she stated, “It was fun. The buildings were beautiful. You could be in there and never have to leave all day.” It seemed like it was a mall with many restaurants, bars, and clothing stores inside in the building on the ground floor. Her coworkers and boss were very nice. There were very few women working there. Luckily, her branch manager was very encouraging and constantly supported her. He was very proud when she became a broker. However, the worst part about working there was the commute from Long Island to Manhattan, and vice versa. She had to travel on the Long Island Railroad everyday for four hours, two hours each way.

After the five years of working at the World Trade Center in New York, she was going to transfer to the Charles Schwab offices in San Francisco. Unfortunately, her plans were ruined when there was a mishap in the financial services and there was a crash. This is when all the stock prices in the country dropped suddenly Because of that, Charles Schwab froze all promotions and transfers. This was unfortunate because she was about to get both a promotion and transfer. Nonetheless, she decided to continue to move out to California.

She specifically chose California because, even after no longer having a definite job, she knew people that lived in Richmond. It was January at the time, so she chose to come to the Bay Area by herself to find a stable job and home since her children were in the middle of their school year. During this time, they stayed with their grandmother until the summer came. Her youngest of her three children at the time came back with her to California while the twins stayed in New York with their dad. She also decided to move out to California because she needed a change and began to see things differently and thought that participating in corporate America wasn’t what she wanted to do with her life. She would rather help people and not be part of the problem, but to provide solutions. She does the work she does now to help families by being a counselor because it improves people’s lives. Once she was in the Bay Area, she continued her schooling for her college degrees.

C. My grandmother was 41 years old when 9/11 happened. On that day, before she found out about the attack, she had a nightmare. In this dream, she was inside a big building with large, tall windows in an open space. As she was looking out of the windows, she noticed that there were white birds coming towards her. At first, she thought, “Oh! That’s interesting,” but more and more of them were flying at the window. They ended up covering all the windows which caused the room to become dark. She was terrifided and ran away from the windows. That was when she suddenly woke up and left her bedroom. Right then, my father, who was living with her at the time, told her that the World Trade Center fell down. She hoped that he was wrong. When she turned on the TV, it was showing the buildings perfectly fine and undamaged. However, as she continued to watch, she realized that that was just the pictures from earlier that day. It then showed the planes hitting the buildings. Because of the time difference, the event had already occurred three hours before. Once her husband at the time found out about what happened, he was allowed to leave work for the day so that he can come home to comfort and be there for her, which she appreciated.

D. When she found out about what happened, one thought she had was that 9/11 could be the start of World War III. From where the planes went in, she thought about which friends that could have been harmed and remembered where their offices were. She felt as if it was more than unbelieveable. She felt numb. She chose not to call them right then since they’re probably dealing with all of the havoc and chaos, like trying to run for their lives in the smoke, or trying to get home, or possibly even dead. Instead she prayed and prayed and hoped for their safety and constantly watched the news until her friends or their families started to call her. Three of her friends passed away due to 9/11. Since she was in California when 9/11 occurred, she hated that she was so far away from her loved ones. That was the worst part for her; the thought of possibility that these people could be hurt or dead while she wouldn’t be able to help or be with them. She wished she was in New York at that time. There were many funerals and gatherings that she wanted to attend, however, flying was almost impossible for her since the expenses were so high. Also, many people wouldn’t want to be on a plane after the incident. Watching the incident made her feel mournful as she remembered all the people she knew and the memories she had there. She says that going to funerals and these rituals helps one to heal, but since she wasn’t able to go and be with them, it has continued to be a challenge for her to feel that sense of security.

Working at the World Trade Center was her “first, big, grown up job.” Although she was young, that was the time when she began to feel like an adult. She had the experience of being a “city-girl with her highheels.” She had this sense of freedom and independence which was a big deal for her. Part of her fascination with the event, by continually to watch documentaries and updating her knowledge of what happened, comes from how her young womanhood got killed with the buildings.

Also, she felt that it was wrong to go to war with Afghanistan, a country that had nothing to do with the situation, since many of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. We went into war with the wrong people. Poor people who barely had an army of their own.

E. 9/11 has always been a day of mourning and grief for her. To this day, ever since the event, she has watched many documentaries about it. She has a curiosity on how so much destruction could have occurred and her knowledge of the event increases every year. She tends to especially watch a bulk of these documentaries as a memorial during the time of the 9/11 anniversary. After the attack, it ignited her need to become more active in politics. She always questioned on how such an occurrence could have happened. It seemed unreal to her, like something was fake about the whole event. She works in politics in hope that she will influence and so that it can support and provide her family with a better future. She wants them to have freedom. Also, the event has caused her to become more skeptical of the government and their true intentions and goals. Her theory is that, as this government gets involved with other countries, it leads to peopling hating this country. That causes people to be willing to fight to the death (or, in this case, be blown up for a mission) since they are so against this country. If we left these places alone and stop attempting to take their resources using violence, then we would have less hostility and violence thrown towards us. The only weapon these people have is their own bodies, while we have all of the weapons. She thinks that, even though she definitely doesn’t support how those people react, she believes that us, as Americans, have a responsibility for what we’re doing to the smaller countries.

This event has opened her eyes and expanded her views to different perspectives in the world. It made her understand that it’s not enough to just complain about these situations. She has to do her part to make it better and do the best she can. She has learned the government’s interests aren’t the same as the people’s interests. They are only thinking about making money for themselves and not the welfare of the impoverished or the minorities. Since we are a democracy, we have to fight for ourselves and make the government do the right thing.

IV.

My grandmother, as a young adult, worked at the World Trade Center for five years. She then moved to California. After 15 years of living here, the attack took place. She was sorrowful by how far she was from the people she cared about. Events, no matter how far they occurred, are connected to us by our past experiences, memories, and friendships.

V.

A. I realized how unpredictable life can be. I should always treat the people I care about the best I can and if there is a dispute, I should make effort in resolving it. Anything can happen and I wouldn’t want the last memory of a person to be a sour one.

B. I’m grateful for my grandmother for sharing her experience. She is still sensitive to the subject, and probably always will be, but she trusted me to write about her story.

VI.

A. I will have about four slides. One will be about my interviewee’s biological elements. Then another slide will be about how she was connected to the event. Next, one will be about what she experienced and how she felt at the time. Lastly, one will be about how the event affected her life.

B. I will not present by December 16 for extra credit.

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