Across the Ocean
Date Submitted: 10/8/2015
Quite why I'm visiting this site on 8.10.15 I have no idea.
Well, that might not be strictly true. For me, 9/11 is the day that has thus far defined my life. I wasn't in New York. I don't know anybody who perished. I'm not even American.
On September 11, 2001, I was a 9 year old who went to school same as pretty much every other day. Walking home with my mum and my younger brother, I distinctly remember her saying an aircraft had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. I didn't know what the WTC was, I didn't - naively - particularly care. I was 9 years old and I wanted to get home to play. When we got in, the TV went straight on to BBC News 24 who were transmitting live coverage. It was 15:00 GMT. 10:00 EDT. I watched the North Tower collapse live on television and realised I was watching something different to the norm. I still didn't appreciate the magnitude.
I watched as in late 2001 the coalition invaded Afghanistan. I watched the 2003 Iraq invasion. I saw the Arab Spring of 2011, the justice meted out to Osama Bin Laden, the ongoing Syrian Civil War, the culture-clash of the 2015 European Refugee Crisis. Now I know why 9/11 impacted me. It was the day my world went from one of childish innocence to a world of terror, hatred, murder and chaos.
It's perhaps easy for me to say that those who perished on 9/11 were, in a way, the 'lucky' ones. And I mean that with the utmost respect and humility for the victims and their families. They left the world on a day when it became a darker and more fearful place. May they find peace where they now dwell, and may those left behind be granted the dignity and respect they so rightly deserve. I just hope that we prove ourselves worthy of having survived it all and that September 11, 2001, was not the beginning of the end of western civilisation.
As I began to take a sip from my glass of water, I counted my blessings. Never take anything in this life for granted, not even something as simple and as pure as the water you drink. You never know when you won't have that luxury ever again.
Gaby (story excerpt)