We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Ground Zero

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

The incident of a terrorist attack that occurred in New York City on the twin towers but also the pentagon was another target that was aimed for, only this one happened in Washington D.C. Both of these incidents come hand in hand and are rooted in America’s history, due to all of the American families who lost a loved one or a close relative. This impact was very hard to endure for many American hearts. September 11, 2001 is marked very significant and has a big impact on many New Yorkers. It’s shocking and sad to hear that about “3,000 individuals died during the explosion”. The author Suzanne Berne wrote an essay regarding “Ground Zero” in which she gave her experience, but also her own insights of what she saw at the site of the attack.

The 9/11 attack is where two hijacked planes went into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center, causing a lot of damage and destruction. As many recall, the people of New York were raged with frustration and were not able to do anything for the lives that they lost. Berne uses different ways to give the message to the reader what it was like at the scene, but also her thoughts about the issue using word choice, key ideas, and organization. The first method Berne uses to capture the readers attention is word choice, specifically figurative language. For instance, Berne descibes what the site of the attack looked like to many strangers who actually don’t know anything about the attack, but all they see in the news is buildings collapse, fire, crowds as Berne says, “

But to the out-of-towner, ground zero looks at first like a construction site.” (Berne 168). The quote illustrates a simile becuase Berne compares someone who is not familar with the issue to a construction site, and people had in mind that it is a very disapppointing place as the news report. From Berne’s point of view, all she saw was a place that she didn’t expect to see. In Berne’s mind was that their are going to be firefighters running everywhere, fire, people yellling , buildings falling, and then all she experiences at the scene was construction taking place. A construction site is identified as an area where dirt, pieces of rocks, glass, vehicles and machinery, and mainly a lot that is vacant. Also, this quote creates a picture in the readers mind of how devastating the place looks like after it become demolished.

Furthermore, the speaker, Berne, describes an old man’s thoughts or comments were about the destruction that occured she states, “An elderly man standing next to me had been staring fixedly across the street for some time. Finally he touched his son’s elbow and said: “I watched those towers being built. I saw this place when they weren’t there.”(Berne 168). This quote displays how Berne uses other individuals thoughts of what they felt regarding this situation of ground zero. The man mentioned how he saw these buildings as they were being built but then sees them collapsed, its such a ruin and no hopefullness anymore. In particular, the author, Berne, creates how this elderly man felt an absence when building fell down, but also when he first saw it being build it was nothing but an empty space just like the outcome that no on expected to occur.

There is a more deeper meaning to both Berne and the elderly man in which their saying that New Yorkers lost their heart becuase of the value the twin tower resembles to all the people who are part of New York city. Suzanne Berne’s organization in “Ground Zero” is set up to give her perspective of what she encountered at the site of the horrific attack , but then towards the end of her essay she starts to transition and includes other peoples thoughts and oppinions of what happened in their city New York. In addition, Berne explains how she enters a dining room, and all of a sudden other people around her get up and look out the window to see a big disaster she says, “Slowly they lined up, and it became clear that this was an honor guard, and that someone’s remains were being carried up toward the ramp into an open door of an ambulance.” (Berne 169).

This quote illustrates what happened as she went to eat at a dining room. Berne saw people looking out the window and so she noticed how dead bodies were being picked up from the empty lot, where buildings used to be, now there’s nothing but “absence”.This type of situation is hard for many people to see and go through. Many people are saying how this happened and how much people were damaged kids and adults. As Berne gives her prespective as she noticed how people gathered to honor many of the souls that were gone due to this terrosist attack. Another example is, when Berne visits for the first time in new york to give her respect to all of the members that were lost in New Yorks World Trade Center.

The reactions that Berne had about the twin towers were “At least nothing is what it first looked like, the space that is now Ground Zero. But once your eyes adjust to what you are looking at, “nothing” becomes something much more potent, which is absence.” (Berne 167). Berne depicts how this part of New York was busy with people, noises, crowds, and very energetic and now after the attack everything disappeared all your eyes focus on is the disaster of the buildings, people killed, noises of firefighters, fire, ambulances sirens all over the place. This is hardship is very challenging and people feel disappointed to see and hear whats going on. Ground zero went from a beautiful place to a awful place. Overall, the use or organization in “Ground Zero” shows how Berne delivers her meesage by her own experiences but also other people’s oppinion and reactions to the incident.

Key ideas was another method Berne applies to the essay “Ground Zero” to highlight importnat facts and ideas and in particular give some background information about Ground Zero, plus its setting. For instance, Berne points out other nationalities she saw while at the tragic scene in Manhattan, New York. She says, “An elegant looking Norweigan family in matching sherling coats . People from California ,Ohio, and Maine.” (Berne 167).This quote demonstarates how she describes other nationalities that were just like her coming to visit and give recognition to all the innocent lives that were lost. This tells the reader that other tours come in to New York like Berne did for the first time to observe and experience Ground Zero site and what it was like for many of these families.

Also, Berne notices the cemetery made in regards for the memorial of all of the lives that were gone she proclaims, “There is the little cemetery attached to St. Paul’s chapel, with tulips coming up, the chapel and grounds miracously undamaged except for a few plastic sheathed gravestones. And flags, flags everywhere, little american flags fluttering in the breeze, flags on posters drawn by brownie troops, flags on T-shirts, flags on hats, flags streaming by, tied to the handles of baby strollers.” (Berne 168). This quote illustrates how Berne describes how much people are sad about the deaths, but also how much they admired what these civilians did. Many families decorated the cemetery with flowers and other things to tell how much they appreciated these lives.

In addition, it explains how everything was nice put together nothing damaged and everything taken care of, and this showed respect. In short, key ideas was another type of element that Berne used to inform the reader what the attack looked like visually, also describes certain places. Other than that it gives the reader a background summary of what ground zero is and why its crucial. “Ground Zero” an essay written by the author Suzanne, Berne. Berne analyzes various techniques such as key ideas, organization, and finally word choice to give her personal experience but also some important insights she had while visiting the World Trade Center. The main idea of the passage involves how the author Berne explains her own experience at ground zero but also what is ground zero all about. Overall, the main cause was that a terrosist group aimed for the twin towers leaving a disastrous area.

People felt a shock and some were raged with frustration becuase they weren’t expecting this to happen. About “3,000 individuals died during explosion.” Nobody was alarmed, people were at work or bussiness when planes crashed. In conclusion, Berne’s usage of key ideas, word choice, and organization in her short essay conveyed to the reader the importance of 9/11 attacks also the author’s purpose was very well developed. The author’s purpose tends to be written successfully due to the way Berne expresses her experiences but also other people’s observations using various elements of writing to get her message through.


Bio.com. A&E Networks Television. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59