I remember sitting down at the dinner table talking to my parents on that faithful night. It was evening Manila time and it was just morning in New York. Our conversation was about the trip that my dad and I were supposed to take 2 days before to New York.
“I’m going to sue Northwest”. Those were the words that I still remember clearly. I was referring to the fact that Northwest Airlines refused to let me use onboard power so I can use my BiPAP machine while in flight. For an airline that said they were disabled friendly, they sure didn’t make it easy for someone like me to fly.
I had wanted to fly to New York for several months to see my then girlfriend. The romantic in me wanted to see her again to see if we could work things out. She had moved to the US a couple of years back to work there.
We broke up for awhile but I realized that I still loved her. So when the chance came up, I wanted to go and see her.
The phone rang. It was my cousin telling us to open our TV and watch CNN. By that time the first plane had hit one of the twin towers. We turned on the TV; we thought it was just a horrific accident. When the second plane hit the other building it had become apparent that it wasn’t.
As the night unfolded and as we watched on TV we witnessed one of the biggest acts of terrorism the world has seen. We knew the world would not be the same. Even though we were halfway across the world, it still sent a chill down our spines because, had we been able to take our flight two days back, we would have been in New York on September 11, 2001. Worse, my dad would have been on the twin towers. He was scheduled to meet his friend for breakfast at the “Windows of the World” restaurant.
It was then I realized, that it was God who was preventing us to fly out and not really Northwest. They were just instruments.
A month and a half after September 11 my dad and I flew to New York via San Francisco. I wasn’t going to let the biggest act of terrorism interfere with my love life.
I spent a month and a half in New York. We even made the trip down near ground zero. We saw the smoke coming out of the rubble. We even signed our names on a wall for people who wanted to leave messages for the ones that died, survivors and anyone who was affected by the tragic event. A nice priest even came up to me and gave me a cross.
10 years have gone by since that time. A lot of people have been greatly affected by the tragedy. Heroes gave up their lives so that others may live. The world was forever changed.
I write this entry as a reminder of that event. A reminder that amidst the biggest tragedies, people will emerge from it. People will pick up from the rubble and rebuild. I believe in the goodness of man. I believe that people are capable of working together to overcome adversity.
9/11 is a testament to that. While it may not have gone as good as what we’ve hoped for, 10 years after, Americans are rebuilding. They continue to be strong. The world stands by their side.
My thoughts and prayers continue to go to the families of the victims of 9/11. May you continue to keep fighting Use the memory of this tragic event as fuel to push forward and prevail. The best way to fight back against the terrorists who did this is to show them that no act of terrorism can deter people from living their lives.
May God Bless all the people affected by this tragedy. May you find peace after all these years.