Coming of Age in a Post-9/11 World

17-year-old Andrew Barrows eloquently describes his childhood memories of 9/11 and America’s decent into tyranny.

Anthony Freda “Theories”

Andrew Barrows
Activist Post

I take a deep breath before I start to write. The thought of what’s happening in this country makes me feel like I’m going to have a panic attack. I take another breath as my heart rate begins to pick up.  I let all the information I’ve read and researched and situations I’ve experienced in the past years settle in my mind. I take one more deep breath and I’m ready to face the reality of what is really happening in our country. I’m ready to confront it, are you?

It all starts back on a date that we are all familiar with, September 11th, 2001 . . . .

I remember in vivid detail when I was in 2nd grade and the Twin Towers fell. It was one of the first times I’ve ever seen teachers interrupt a quiet classroom.

A group of teachers dashed in while we were all over looking our math problems and they started crying and hugging each other. I swear it could have started snowing, the September air got so cold.

Slowly students started to get picked up by loved ones and I watched from the window as they drove off about 3 hours early from when school normally ends. I wondered if I would be picked up too.

I’ve never heard tears hit the floor so loud. Panic filled the room. I was confused, an innocent mind; I didn’t know what was happening and I tried to think of what could have caused such chaos in a normally relaxed school. I just couldn’t figure it out. Images flashed through my head like an old projector, as I played a matching game of what possibly could have caused all of this.

The number of students in the room began to get smaller and smaller as I watched the clock above the door tick away. There were about 5 students left in the classroom when I decided to go up to the group of teachers wiping their makeup from their eyes and calling a new person every other second; and to this day I’m not sure what exactly would have fought its way out of my mouth — but before I had time to speak, another teacher ran in the room and the group of 6 or so teachers migrated to her with hugs. I gave up on the idea of asking and decided I would find out for myself.

I walked out my 2nd grade classroom and down the hall toward the exit of the school. I figured it would be on TV at home if it was very important, from past experiences of seeing things on the news. So I thought I should just go home. To my surprise my older sister stood at the exit as if she knew my adventurous and impatient mind would lead me to that exact place. I don’t even think the teachers noticed me leave, or any of the other students in fact, because they were so caught up in conversation discussing the mystery which sent my whole 2nd grade class home from school that day.

My sister explained to me that something serious has just happened and that a lot of people have just died. She explained to me that planes have flown into the Twin Towers as Terrorists attacked The United States Of America. She looked at my face, with a confused expression that seemed to acknowledge that my 2nd grade mind couldn’t comprehend the definition of terrorism. She quickly reworded, “Bad people just killed innocent people in New York City”.

Little did I know that these buildings would play such an impact in my future and life.

I shortly arrived home to see my mom crying and on the phone with my brother who was stationed in Fort Benning Army Base in Georgia. It made me sad to hear the pain in her voice as she told me to not turn on any TV’s in the house. While people were being murdered, I was sitting in my room thinking about what happens next? It never occurred to me that my brother would be sent away overseas for 8 years in the deserts of the Middle East.  It never occurred to me that he would be put through so much pain and be in death’s cross-hairs every second. It never occurred to me I would feel like I have lost my brother, even though he was still alive. It never occurred to me that I wasn’t alone and this was happening to countless other people too.

I remember asking my mom, “Who let this happen?” Feeling as if someone didn’t do their job correctly and should have known something so extreme was coming our way.

My brother always taught me that America was the best place to live; that it’s the safest and I don’t need to ever worry about anything bad happening to me. Everything that I believed was shattered and I no longer felt safe. I remember double-checking the doors at night to make sure they were locked because I was so convinced that men in all black were going to bust down my door and murder my family. It is fair to say: I was scared. I hated these people who killed all these innocent people in MY country and I wanted revenge.


As I got older, I found myself watching documentaries on the Internet like Loose Change and Fahrenheit 9/11. I was amazed at what I saw. People who studied and gathered such information on their own time and dedication to get someone to see something from a certain perspective and viewpoint. I thought that was beautiful.

I found myself obsessed with 9/11 and I didn’t understand why this video wasn’t on every news station and why more people didn’t know about it! I read everything I could find about on the Internet and every video I could watch. To this day, 10 years later, I am still confused about what happened that day, but I think that’s just because I don’t like to admit the truth to myself. I find it pretty obvious that 9/11 was allowed to happen — one way or another — and I know I am not the only person who believes that after researching 9/11.

I am a 9/11 truther.

I started finding more interesting links about government, and started reading things about CIA whistleblowers.  One day I heard about The Patriot Act. My mind was blown; I felt violated even though I had nothing to hide. It made no sense to me that the people who are supposed to protect us were taking away our constitutional rights to make sure we are safe. I tried to share this with all my friends at school, but no one seemed interested and just looked at me like I was crazy! Keep in mind I was only 14 or so. I thought to myself, so many people have died and fought for America to be what it is — for our freedom. How does anyone think it is okay to take away our privacy and freedom to protect us from “terrorism”?

It didn’t add up to me. Security cameras have never made me feel any safer.

As I continued my obsession with truth and other people’s viewpoints and thoughts about media, banking, government, and freedom, it all started to make sense to me. It hit me like a truck — that as much as I would love life to be a fair, happy place; it is simply not. That not everyone in the world is fair, honest and a person you can trust. I had to remind myself that greed, power-tripping, and selfishness all does indeed exist. I started to feel like I was cheated — that the government was just playing all of its people. They aren’t protecting us; they are brainwashing us and making us believe that things which are actually small are a really big threat.

Why? So that we live in fear.

In my 17 years of living, I’ve experienced society and our country go through quite a serious change — as well as my viewpoints on America. From thinking we are the best country in the world and believing that countries are just jealous of our freedom, to believing that in fact we are just the complete opposite of that and are creating terrorism by fighting wars based on lies and for resources to benefit certain companies and people; and that people behind desks in suits call the shots but don’t know what it’s actually like to be shot at.

It’s fair to say, I lost faith in humanity for quite some time.

It truly made me depressed that people could be such animals and lie to everyone about such important vital information. It made me sad to see people eat it all up like Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn’t believe people were not doing anything about this.

Soon, I started to notice that people actually were doing a lot about this. Huge protests like the Internet group Anonymous protesting Scientology, and other protests on “9/11 truth,” and the list goes on and on. I found out what I loved and I was happy to know people were being the change they wish to see.

The Occupy movement gave me great hope, and lifted my mood. I thought to myself: “Its about time.” I knew I would stand with them.

Agree or disagree with what the Occupy movement is protesting; the police brutality has really been eye opening, and its important to ask yourself these questions:

Who are they serving?
Who are they protecting?
Why are they arresting people?
Why are peaceful people being attacked?
Why are they using chemical agents and LRAD devices on American citizens?

I think it is important to research what’s going on and question things for yourself. Turn off the TV and seek the truth.

Is America losing its rights? Are we becoming less free?

In the past month, the SOPA/NO IP ACT (PROTECT-IP) is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the Net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization act in a 93-7 vote. THIS BILL for the first time in American history authorizes the US military to DETAIN, TORTURE, and even ASSASSINATE American citizens on U.S. SOIL — NO RIGHT TO A TRIAL, NO ACCESS TO A LAWYER, and the government need only ACCUSE you of being anti-government or connected to TERRORISM for this to apply to you.

Is there a pattern going on here? Does this seem okay to you? Do you need to start questioning these things? It’s weird that the government is trying to censor the Internet and declare U.S. soil a war-zone allowing mass arrests of people for expressing opinions, and that that the government is giving army supplies for free to police departments.

The day our constitutional amendments mean nothing — which seems more like reality as the sun sets — I do not want to hear anyone who didn’t stand up with the Occupy movement or any protest of government power over its people complain, because by sitting back and not doing anything about this, you are allowing this to happen.

It angers me when people are more interested in listening to horrible music than to educate themselves on important things like the SOPA/NO IP Act and the NDAA that will change our lives completely and for the next generations to come. Occupy your minds and stop being a slave to corporate media and entertainment.

I mean in America, you’re supposed to be able to criticize your own government without saying you’re un-American – Ron Paul

Whatever happened to? “I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It feels like a militarized war zone, it doesn’t feel like New York. — RT journalist interviewed who got hit by a police baton as she was trying to film the protests.

So let me ask one final question: Do you need to leave your second-grade classroom to find out what is really happening? Or are you just going to wait around until someone picks you up?

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