Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Decade Later

Like most Americans, especially those who live near Manhattan or Washington D.C., I will never forget September 11, 2001. I was half asleep listening to the radio when I first heard that a plane hit the World Trade Center’s North Tower. At that moment, a friend called me to ask if my father worked in one of the Towers, which he did. I jumped out of bed, and ran to the television, where I saw the North Tower on fire, and then the second plane hit the South Tower.

I found out later that my father was late to work that day, and although he witnessed some of the terrible things most of us have only read and seen footage of on television, he was not in the North Tower, which was the building he worked in. He and many others who had just emerged from the subway witnessed the chaos, and then they all walked uptown, away from World Trade Center. My father could not contact my family by phone until later that afternoon, so we spent the first part of the day praying and wondering where he was. When he did arrive home, he was covered in a layer dust from the collapsed buildings. I never asked him how far away he was from the Towers when they went down, and he has never spoken of the attacks since that day.

After learning about a third plane going into the Pentagon and then another one crashing in Pennsylvania on its way to Washington D.C., I wondered (like most Americans) if we were being invaded by terrorists, by way of hijacked planes. My fears subsided as the air space cleared; then I wanted more knowledge to become empowered. In the days, weeks, months, and years that followed, I educated myself to gain further understanding of the world. It might sound cliché to some, but I am forever reminded of how precious and fragile life is. It has been ten years, but I never take what I learned and experienced from that day for granted. I will always remember.

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