Remembering the World Trade Center Attacks

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° ?

Headline: a title in large letters : n°?

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

Logo: the name of the newspaper: n°?

Masthead: information about the newspaper: n°?

Standfirst: a subtitle : n°?

Photograph: illustration: n°?

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. (…)

Speech analysis

a) Watch carefully the images and think about GW Bush’s body language and overall presentation.

Does he seem strong or intimidated?  How do you know?  What message do you think he is sending to Americans?  To the world?  Why?

He looks strong (-willed) / determined / resolute / firm ; he looks the audience straight in the eye ; he is very / calm / poised / composed ; his hands are not fidgety (= agité ) / restless.

By looking strong, he wants to reassure / comfort / hearten the American people who is completely lost / confused / puzzled / bewildered. He also aims at stating to the world that the USA is still the most powerful country in the world and won’t let terrorism destabilize it and its allies. (/ˈælaɪz/)

b) Now, focus on the Words. As you listen, think about the words.

Why are they powerful? What do they tell us? They resonate within the American people :

The emphasis on the repeated ‘’our’’ in the first line requires attention, due to its implication to the personal pronoun ‘’ us’’ : a ‘’fellow citizenry’’ has been invoked in this sentence, ìunited within its symbolic territory of a ‘’way of life’’ and its ‘’freedoms’’. Grammatically, the president creates a united nation, -an imagined community-

After listening to the speech, how would you feel as an American ?

I would feel reassured and proud to belong to such a great nation. My patriotic feeling would be stirred (= attiser); I would get involved in helping to rebuild what has been destroyed.

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.

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.

The 9/11 attacks

Expressing hopes, expectations, wishes, wants and desires

Using the word bank above and your grammar lesson on the site, translate the following sentences

1)G.W. Bush espère que le peuple américain ne cédera pas à la panique.

G.W. Bush hopes that the American people will not give in to panic.

2) Il s’attend à ce que le monde soutienne les USA dans cette terrible épreuve.

He expects the world to support the US in this terrible ordeal.

3) Les américains veulent-ils se venger ?

Do the Americans want revenge?

4) Le chef de l’État américain veut que son pays riposte immédiatement aux attaques.

The American head of state wants his country to respond immediately to the attacks.

5) Il souhaite pouvoir éradiquer le terrorisme.

He wishes he could eradicate terrorism.

6) Qu’est-ce que tu désires (le plus) ? (cf : Lucifer series)

What is it you desire?