11 September 2011

remembering 9/11 -- 10 years later

It's mid-morning of September 11 in my part of the world now. In less than 12hrs, it will be the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 US attacks. 10yrs ago, as the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York, I was studying for a Zoology exam scheduled the next day. I was a 20yr old BS Biology student in UPMin then. When the second plane hit, I knew something was up and stopped studying. I texted my Zoology teacher in jest if she could cancel the exam (hi Dr U / Z!) as something momentous (albeit horrific) is happening. Of course she replied, no, the exam couldn't be cancelled. Boohoo! But that didn't deter me from watching history unfold on live TV for the next several hours. Needless to say, I didn't get to sleep that night-- NY time is 12hrs behind our time, we watched the 9/11 attacks on our late-night news.

The next day, I was groggy when I took my Zoology exam. I can't even remember if I passed or failed that exam. But the memory of watching the 9/11 US attacks live on TV was forever burned in my memory. The memory of seeing the planes crash into the towers, the memory of people jumping out of the towers, of the people running away from the collapsing towers, the memory of the burning Pentagon building, the memory of the frantic voices from the heroic United 93 flight-- all these are burned in my memory. I know no one personally who was hurt in the 9/11 US attacks (my aunt in law resides in Woodside, NY though) but I was changed, and I knew the attacks will forever change our world, not just the United States of America. Here's my favorite insight on how 9/11 changed our lives by Martin Levenson:
Horrible and tragic events, with so many lives lost needlessly, on 9-11 and since.  But for me, the greatest tragedy is that a once proud nation, fiercely protective of its peoples' rights and liberties, has seen fit to suspend and abrogate those rights in so many ways, and that its people, now living in a culture of fear both real and imagined, have accepted this so meekly.  "Sweet land of liberty", indeed. The events pictured in this collection have cost the US so much, not only in lives and money, but in heart and soul, and I grieve for that more than anything else. 
For more pictures of the 9/11 US attacks, check out The Atlantic's 3-part photo series (click the links):
--THE WEEK BEFORE (photos from all around the world, a week prior 9/11)
--THE DECADE SINCE (relevant photos after 9/11/2001 til 9/2011)
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