Wednesday, September 11, 2019

18 Years Ago

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, at around 2 PM local time, I was in bed and taking a nap. The day before I had returned back home after being in a hospital for a week and receiving five bags of blood. In a routine physical check-up, it was discovered that my blood count was dangerously low.

I was awoken by a telephone call from my father, who told me to turn on the television because "there are things going on in New York". I thought of going back to sleep, but my curiosity got the better of me so I turned on the TV and started watching the eerie live broadcast from New York City where the North Tower of the World Trade Center was burning.

About ten minutes after I started watching the broadcast the events of the picture started to unfold. A plane was seen flying closer and it became clear that it was aiming for the South Tower. It struck the tower at 3:03PM my time, 9:03AM New York Time, and a big ball of fire erupted from the place of impact. Smoke was now billowing from both towers.

I was stunned, like the rest of civilization, by this vehement terrorist attack happening in broad daylight and playing out on color-TV.

I stayed close to the television all through the night. The other attempted attacks were reported. And the numbers of the people killed and wounded rose by the hour. 

The final count says 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured. Additionally, 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers died in the World Trade Center and on the ground in New York City. There were more people killed in places outside New York City.

Life for us, the lucky ones, continued but the world as we know it changed. We lost a kind of innocence that day with the over 3,000 deaths. Little by little, new agencies and lots of regulations and restrictions were put in place to try to prevent similar attacks from ever occurring again.

On a day like this, it is good to remember the past, the victims of terror whether killed, mutilated or hurt, and hope and work so that we may never experience anything as horrendous again. 

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