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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reflecting on 9/11: Twelve Years Later

This is always a somber day for me. It's a somber day for New Yorkers, a somber day for our nation. 9/11 took the lives of so many here in New York City. Many have become ill after the terrorist attacks. Many cannot forget the trauma they endured while trying to get away from the chaos. My mom was one of many who ran from the billowing smoke and ash. Even after twelve years, I could still feel the somber mood in a city that never sleeps. I have not been to the memorial site in years. When I visited the area months after 9/11, I remember the strong smell from the smoke that lingered in the air. I remember the shell of what was once a tall building now reduced to rubble. In 2007, I re-visited the area where there were photographs of first responders helping people out of the towers, and personal items found in the rubble.

It still makes me sad to this day.

I think about the people who didn’t make it out alive. The horror they must of felt knowing they were trapped. I think about the people who were in the surrounding area, who felt helpless watching people scream for help or jump out of the burning buildings. I still remember the thick, black smoke hovering over Brooklyn. I remember calling my mom and there was silence on the other end. I stayed by the phone until she called. We were only able to say, “I love you,” before the phone went dead. My heart dropped. I was scared that would’ve been the last time I heard from her.   

I also remember the anger I felt during that time. “How could anyone be so cruel and so evil to commit such a catastrophe?” I said to myself. To this day, I still ask this question. I don’t understand how anyone could do such a thing. I always knew evil existed but 9/11 proved it true. I’m still upset by what happened. My mom survived that day. I’m blessed she is still here.  I know how lucky I am, because there are many who lost loved ones. My heart goes out to them. I feel for those who were diagnosed with illnesses. They are reminded of this horrible tragedy that has plagued their bodies.

Twelve years today, twelve years tomorrow, it won’t take away the impact it has left on us. Our country is still at war. Terrorism still exist, and evil is among us. I can only hope we maintain our strength and resilience in coping with this tragedy. I also hope we learn and remember, because in one way or another, 9/11 affects us all.

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