Peggy Noonan's article called “The Children of 9/11 Grow Up” is a well-written discussion of how the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 shaped the lives of those who were children at the time. She uses pathos beautifully and is very aware of her audience. This article, written for The Wall Street Journal, appeals to both college students and their older parents or grandparents, along with everyone in between.
First of all, Noonan captures those who were ten or twelve on 9/11 who are now college students. She describes this audience as being “old enough to understand that something dreadful had happened but young enough still to be in childhood” on 9/11 (par.2). This group of people, which includes myself, are drawn in by her early comments and the title. We are “the children of 9/11.” As Noonan describes the events of the day and quotes students she has talked to, we all find ourselves nodding our heads and remembering back to the “first moment of historical consciousness” in our lives (par.4). It happened just like she described it. People that were children back in 2001 will read it because they are interested to see what other people their age are saying. Noonan pulls readers in because she knows her audience would be interested to see her thoughts on how 9/11 affected them growing up.
However, Noonan is also interested in the readers her age. The people who can remember November 22, 1963 make up a large part of the readership of the Journal. She invites this audience to read as she draws parallels between JFK's assassination and the attacks of 9/11. The situtations were quite similar: the “hushed tones”, the teachers sobbing, the “shocked parents”, and how “everyone went home and watched TV all day, and the next” (par. 6). This article will help people understand how the events of 9/11 largely affected the children at the time.
By paying attention to her multiple audiences, Peggy Noonan is able to reach out to her readers. She captures their attention and intrigues them. Throughout the article, she remembers her intended audience and realizes what do they already know. Noonan wrote this to be inclusive and to reach all potential readers
Noonan, Peggy. "The Children of 9/11 Grow Up." Wall Street Journal (2009). The Wall Street Journal.