Remembering September 11, 2001

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September 11, 2001 is a date the world would remember as the day of the horrific terrorist attacks on the United States. The terrorists hijacked commercial airliners, two of which were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center  in New York City. A third one crashed in the Pentagon, while a fourth one, believed to have been aimed at Washington DC, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

The Horror Show On TV

Back here in Manila, I was watching TV and channel-hopping that night as usual and chanced upon the CNN broadcast a few minutes after the start of the coverage. I remember thinking then that the terrorists were really, really crazy to have done what they did. And that was only the first tower. When a 2nd plane appeared to crash into the other tower, I remember thinking that this can’t be real, this can’t be happening, this is just a bad movie. I switched channels, clicking and clicking on the remote to see other news channels, hoping to not see anything about the US attacks.

The Beginning of A New, Scary Era

I don’t remember when I started crying. Maybe it was seeing the 1st tower collapse, or seeing people jumping from the top floors of the buildings, or when the 2nd tower collapsed or when news of the Pentagon attack surfaced. I watched the news coverage for days, and I remember thinking then, that the world will never be the same again.

The world has changed so much since that day. But I don’t think the change is all for the better. There’s still so much hate and suspicion all around. And there are more wars fought between countries and even among different groups of one nation.

There seems to be no end to the cycle of violence.

9-11 Memorial Visit

Last December I visited my sister and her family in New York City and spent the Christmas holidays there. They moved to New York from Manila in 2007, so they weren’t there during the 2001 attacks.

Since the site was only opened to the public a few months before, I made it a point to visit the September 11 memorial. I’m sharing the pictures here. I don’t have pictures of me because I went to the site by myself and I don’t usually bother other people to take my picture. I’m content taking pictures of the scenery. 🙂

One World Trade Center nearing completion

September 11 Memorial

9-11 Memorial Pools

Seeing and reading the names of the people who died during the attacks gave me goosebumps. Especially seeing inscriptions of firefighter groups indicated by Ladder #.

But I paused longer and prayed when I read the name of one Vanessa Lang Langer and her unborn child. So heartbreaking to know of the many lives lost, and some lives that had not yet truly started but already taken away.

Curious to know more about her, I google her name and find this. There is no end to the sad stories connected to this day.

September 11 Memorial

September 11 Memorial

September 11 Memorial

September 11 memorial

September 11 Memorial

Trees during winter are not as magnificent as when they are in spring, but still beautiful especially when they’re lined up like this.

September 11 Memorial

The Survivor Tree stands tall and mighty proud where it is.

September 11 Memorial

I’m not sure but I think this is the memorial museum.

September 11 Memorial

 

It was an unreal experience to be in this place. People patiently wait in the long line for the security check. People don’t just rush to take pictures. People take time to go to both the north and south memorial pools to read at least some of  the names of the victims of the attacks. People are not loud here. People speak in almost hushed tones, recalling where they were during the time of the attacks, sharing stories of what they know of the events of that day.

I don’t want any more memorials like this built. I don’t want any more violent episodes such as this in our history. Much as we like to pay tribute to our heroes, we don’t want any more terrorist attacks or wars.

Or do we?

What are we doing to prevent another war?

xxx

 

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