Sept. 11, 2001. started ordinary. This high school sophomore woke up cranky in the morning and went to school. It was one of those hated days when we had to sit through 7 classes. As usual, I counted every second while waiting for the bell to ring. On my way home I picked up a snack, sat on the bus and meditated over what show I’ll watch when I finally come home and throw myself on the couch. Clock on the TV said it was 3.15 p.m. when I turned it on. That is 9.15 a.m. New York time, exactly 12 minutes after second plane crashed into the South Tower of WTC.
Headline on the screen was screaming “BREAKING NEWS”, which meant that images I was watching were real but they seemed like something that jumped out of action blockbuster. Impossible.
When my brain picked up the pieces of the event and realized what just happened, the panic started. Even though I knew that my family lives almost two hours away from New York, crazy scenarios took over. Luckily, they were safe.
2996 people who died on 9/11 weren’t.
Vocabulary of entire world changed that day. Words like terrorism and terrorists became a powerful weapon in every day’s speech, they moved emotions, grabbed attention, served the cause. At times, those words were wrongfully used to justify questionable actions and attitudes.
The scar that 9/11 left on USA will never heal. Home of patriotism suffered a loss that is still hard to comprehend. All the whys and hows surrounding that day will never be completely answered.
The scar on the World is even deeper. Too many wars in the name of gods, too much pride and revenge in the name of justice and no one who dares to point out that extremism of all kinds is a dangerous threat to every single living person today, regardless their color, nationality or religion. No one dares because the burden of being labeled as sympathizer or traitor is too heavy to bear.
Flames are burnt out, the dust is settled, and memories remain, hopefully mapping out a way to better and more secure future. The only way we can truly mourn all the victims of that tragic day is if we do our best to make sure that such clash of xenophobia and intolerance is never again repeated.
Exactly 10 years later, 2996 lives lost is still a lesson to be learned.
The article was originally written in English.
ILLUSTRATION BY: ROSY GOROLOVA
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