Commemorating 9/11

Striking images

Here is the New York Times front page we discovered in class,associate each of the following words with the different parts of the New York times front page dated September 12th 2001:

Body: the main part of the article : n° 6 (= sous tribune)

Headline: a title in large letters : n°2 (= tribune ou gros titre)

Lead : the first sentences of the article: n°7

Logo: the name of the newspaper: n°1

Masthead: information about the newspaper: n°5 = manchette (= état civil du journal)

Standfirst: a subtitle : n°3 (= chapeau)

Photograph: illustration: n°4

G.W. Bush: 9/11 Address to the Nation

(September 11th 2001)

Good evening. Today our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and Federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our Nation into chaos and retreat, but they have failed. Our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today our Nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescueworkers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could. 

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.

Speech analysis

a) G.W. Bush’s body language : he looks solemn / he has a grim look= il a l’air grave.

He is sitting up straight = se tenir droit – as straight as an i= droit comme un i

His hands are steady = calme

What message do you think he is sending to Americans?

His physical attitude aims at (= avoir pour but de) reassuring the audience and showing his strength in the face of adversity.

He wants to show the American people that he is ready to fight back.

He wants the Americans to keep calm and trust him.

He wants to reassure his western (= occidentaux) allies (/ˈælaɪz/) who might feel destabilized.

He would like them to support the American people (= peuple).

He wants to reaffirm their position as a leader of the free world (cf : ‘’the policeman of the world’’)

b) The importance of the words (the rhetoric)

Why are they powerful? What do they tell us? 

After listening to the speech, as an American, I would feel proud of my country. I would be ready to support the fight against terrorism.

c) Read paragraph 1 and highlight all the negative words. What is the President’s purpose ?

In this tragic moment, the distance which separates Us from Them, from their reality, is maintained : ‘’[e]vil and worst in human nature are met by the best in America -daring and caring. ‘’Despicable acts’’ and ‘’mass murder’’are contrasted with ‘’brightest beacon of freedom,’’ justice, and peace..

Read paragraph 2. The tone is different in this part. Show how.

In the second paragraph, he transforms ‘’a great people’’ into ‘’a great nation’’. Americans are not only a sutured group of people anymore; they are a nation, based on the ‘’steel of American resolve’’ that is under attack. Not the physical, but the psychological aim of the attacks was unsuccessful. Terrorists have targeted America, he declares, ‘’because they can’t stand freedom; they hate what America stands for’’. But they failed to destroy it and America will be reborn from its own ashes.

Read paragraph 3 and explain the expression « the best of America » 

All the vital forces of America united to fight evil and showed its goodness.

Comment faire perdurer la mémoire du 11 septembre ? Après deux décennies, une génération entière a grandi dans le monde d’après les attentats – et n’en possède aucun souvenir. Aux États-Unis, de nouvelles initiatives destinées à la « Génération Z » (les adolescents et jeunes adultes nés depuis les années 2000) cherchent à faire connaitre l’impact de cette journée sur l’histoire. Découvrez le reportage vidéo en V.O. retraçant le déroulement des attentats par ceux les ayant vécus et testez votre compréhension.

Put the events from 09/11 in chronological order. Check by watching the video.

1. _____ 2. _____ 3. _____ 4. _____ 5. _____ 6. _____ 7. _____ 8. _____ 9. _____ 10. _____ 11. _____ 12. _____

a) A hijacked plane strikes the Pentagon

b) Stabbings on flight 11 are reported

c) Fighters take off to defend key sites around Washington

d) Flight 175 is considered a possible second hijacking

e) Flight 93 sends a distress signal about a bomb on board

f) Other aircraft are warned to stay away from flight 93

g) The Boston control tower tries to contact flight 11

h) Departures from Washington International Airport are stopped

i) Flight 11 is thought to have been hijacked

j) Flight 93 crashes into a field

k) Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center

l) Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center

Answers : 1. g – 2. b – 3. i – 4. k – 5. d – 6. l – 7. c – 8. h – 9. a – 10. e – 11. f – 12. j

Grammar Time

Expressing hopes, expectations, wishes, wants and desires

To Hope

I hope I pass the exam! (present tense talking about the future)

I hope she’ll be okay

I had hoped I’d win the race, but I couldn’t do it. (past perfect + past simple)

We’re all hoping for a better future. (present continuous taking about the future)

To Expect :we want something and we think it is likely or certain to happen.

To expect (somebody) to do something

I expect you to be home before 10pm = j’attends de vous que vous soyez à la maison avant 22h.

I don’t expect many people to come to my party = je me m’attends pas à ce que beaucoup de monde vienne à ma fête.

To Want = Would like (“Would like” is much politer and less direct)

I want to be taller = You’re not asking anyone – this is just a wish

I want a better phone = Expressing your desire

I would like a better phone = Asking someone to help you (politer)

I would like two coffees and a muffin, please.

To want to do something / To want somebody to do something

ex : I want to get rich I want my dad to get rich

Subjet + would like to do / Subjet + would like somebody to do

ex : I would like to get rich I would like my dad to get rich

To Wish : it is similar to “want”, but it’s a desire we have on things we can’t control. It’s often like we want magic to change something.

We usually use the past tense with “wish”. This shows how unlikely it is to change.

I wish I was prettier! = I want something to change but I can’t control it.

She wishes she could run as fast as her brother.

I just wish for a happy life – nothing else!

To Desire : it is not as common in everyday conversation

I desire large amounts of wealth. = This sounds quite formal, and perhaps old-fashioned.

Desire” has a strong feeling : it’s something you will do anything to get.

She has always desired to have a good husband and start a family. = stronger than “want”

He desires to become king.

Compréhension de texte:

Lisez l’article ci-dessous extrait de USA Today et faites-en une synthèse en français.

The touching stories behind 9/11 tattoos

Brian Branco is not a tattoo type of a guy.

The 50-year-old technology consultant normally wouldn’t have wanted someone to pierce ink into his skin. Yet each upper arm is marked with prominent images that include the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, as well as the number 93 to symbolize the hijacked Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pa., and the 1993 World Trade Center attack.

His ink includes the words “Never Forget,” the phrase “No day shall erase you from the memory of time,” and the names Bob, Jill and Steve.

Those are his colleagues who died when the towers crumbled.

“I would have never gotten any tattoos if it wasn’t for September 11 and my need to keep the memory alive of my friends who died that day,” he says.

“Never Forget” is the mantra of many affected by those terrorist attacks — and Branco is among the scores of people who have done just that by putting a permanent reminder on their skin.

Broken hearts, eagles, the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, American flags and the names of the deceased are among the wide array of tattoos that mark that day. Some are small, such as a delicate “never forget” written in tiny script on a wrist of survivor Evelyn Lugo. Others are bold designs covering large swaths of skin.

The tattoos represent grief, anger, courage, patriotism, frustration, hope and resilience. They pay tribute. They invite observers to ask questions and allow a story about terrorism, death, heroism and healing to be retold. (…)

Following the terrorist attacks, people took solace in tattoo studios. Josh Everett estimates he and his fellow tattoo artists at a now-closed shop  in downtown Manhattan inked at least 1,000 people after offering free tattoos as a way to give back.

“We worked with police officers, firefighters, EMS, paramedics, civilians and the military,” he says. New Yorkers, as well out-of-town visitors, lined up for their services. Some patrons exuded anger, others would breakdown and cry. Throughout, the artists often served as « armchair psychiatrists, » Everett says.

“It was a heavy, emotional time,” he says. “It was probably the most significant thing I did as a tattoo artist.” (…)

The touching stories behind 9/11 tattoos: synthèse en français de l’extrait ci-dessus

Ce document publié par le magazine américain USA Today est un article en ligne qui raconte la façon originale dont certains américains rendent hommage aux victimes des attentats du 11 septembre 2001, en se tatouant.

La première personne à témoigner est un homme d’âge mûr qui n’aurait jamais accepté de se faire un jour tatouer sauf pour commémorer les 4 attaques ; comme beaucoup de gens, son tatouage arbore la mention « n’oublie jamais » ainsi que les 3 noms de ses 3 collègues morts dans l’effondrement des tours.

Comme lui aussi, des dizaines de gens ont fait de cette expression leur mantra et l’ont inscrite sur leur peaux en grand ou petit. Ces tatouages traduisent leur tristesse, leur courage, leur patriotisme, ainsi que leur frustration mais aussi leur espoir et leur résilience (= capacité à rebondir) ; ils rendent hommage et poussent les autres à poser des questions et à réentendre ces histoires de mort, de terrorisme mais aussi d’héroïsme et de guérison.

Après les attentats, les gens cherchèrent du réconfort auprès des tatoueurs qui devinrent en quelque sorte des des psychiatres, tatouant parfois gratuitement des policiers, des civils et tous ceux impliqués dans les sauvetages pour leur apporter leur soutien dans des moments très difficiles et qui les ont marqués à jamais.

Writing Time:

Imagine a dialogue between an American teenager who announces to his / her family that he / she has decided to get a tatoo in order to remember 9/11. (150 words +/- 10%)