Fourteen years ago I woke up in the exact same time as today. I was off, sleeping in. The phone rang: my father called to say “turn the t v on, the world has changed.” It was 9/11/2001.
I turned it on to see the second plane hitting the towers. I remember jumping up in bed looking into live life in disbelief. We were under attack.
I did not live in America yet. And this was not my country yet, not officially, but I went through all the emotions any America went through. The shock, the sadness, the anxiety, the hazy, foggy feeling that I was dreaming inside a dream, hoping I was going to wake up at any minute.
I remember thinking I was too late for the towers but not too late for America, one day I would come. Time went by really fast and in 2002 I arrived. New world, new life.
In 2004 I visited New York for one day. When my friend asked me where do you want to go I said: The 9/11 Memorial and Central Park. There was a sadness in the air you could feel. I still could not believe America had gone through what I saw on TV.
Today as I woke up I looked back at how much the world has changed since then.
We are still under attack, only in different ways.
I remember thinking back then that the beginning of centuries seemed to have things in common: the uncertainty, the fear, the forecasts, and the wars. We were in the beginning of a new era for sure.
As a new American, today is a day of respect for all the heroes and all the people we lost. Here in the West, it is a foggy, overcast, colder day than the ones that marked this end of summer. It feels like Fall is close but we are far away from winning the war that started in the beginning of this century.
In 2011 I went home to visit my family and came back to America on a 9/11. My friends were all asking “aren’t you afraid of flying on this day?” and I answered: ”No. If I change my life and plans because of the bad people in the world, they win”. They have disrupted life enough; we would not give them another chance.
It is hard to believe it was fourteen years ago. It feels like it was just yesterday. I feel those wounds are still open among us.
Resilience, innovation, freedom and faith. Those are the guns we use to win. United we will grow and make this country better.