I was 19, my senior year in college. It was another Tuesday evening, winding down after a full day of classes. I might have been reading an article or a book chapter for class the next day, but I vividly recall my roommate rushing through the door saying “the Word Trade Center has been hit!” while frantically turning on the radio for news about the incident. At first, I thought it was the World Trade Center in Manila. She said it was in Manhattan, in New York. We both decided to go to the common room where the TV was blasting and showing footage of the first airplane crashing into the twin towers. It was unbelievable, I could not fathom how that whole thing was happening over on the other side of the world. A good group of dormers have gathered around the TV and we were all glued as news flashed in front of us about the Pentagon crash and the heroic act of the Flight 93 passengers who foiled the terrorists’ attempt to crash into another target, somewhere in D.C. I wasn’t there and I don’t personally know anyone who has lost a loved one from the terrible event of 9/11, but it was an event that resonates throughout the world and shows us the horrors of extremism, of fanaticism. Innocent lives were taken, ordinary people living their simple lives – and for what?
The world has changed, even more so with 9/11. America will never be the same again. The world will never be the same again. A couple of wars in the Middle East, the unavoidable profiling of Middle eastern people, the hatred in some people for Muslims or those who adhere to Islam, the heightened security measures everywhere, the death (killing) of Osama Bin Laden. Among others. The repercussions were great and were not always the best case scenarios. But 9/11 has also opened the doors to tolerance, to understanding why some people have certain beliefs, why a part of the world dislike America. It gave America the opportunity to also reflect on what they are to the world and how the world perceives them. I hope they found some answers. I am not a citizen of America, and I may never feel the kind of emotion that an American may have remembering the events of 9/11. But I am a child of the world, and 9/11 has changed it. We may have different beliefs, different ways of life, but we can still live together in peace. I really hope we do learn from 9/11. It’s the least we can do.