Saturday, September 11, 2010

9 Years Later

Alona Abraham
A 30-year-old resident of the Israeli port town of Ashdot, Alona Abraham was 11 days into her first vacation in the United States on Sept. 11. She was on United Flight 175, which crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Her cousin, Danny Raymond of Van Nuys, Calif., had been sending letters to his Israeli relatives for years, extolling the United States as exciting -- and peaceful.

An office worker, Abraham finally decided to visit, and in the process was hoping to meet a few nice Jewish boys who might make for a good life partner, Raymond said.

"Everything was really exciting to her, to be in a country she had only seen in newspapers and on TV," Raymond said. "She couldn't believe how different everything looked -- and that it was so peaceful."

Abraham's family were Mumbai (Bombay) Jews who emigrated to Israel in the 1950s. Raymond said Abraham was "all Indian" in appearance -- tall, with stunning black eyes and brown hair, a woman who found joy in being with friends and family -- "just the warmth, the heart, the goodness of being with someone."

It was nine years ago that this country was totally changed. In a few years people will be asking "Where were you on September 11, 2001?" My answer will be "I was a still asleep". It was just after 9am, Central time, when I finally woke up. I turned on the news and saw that two buildings at the World Trade Center were on fire. Had they already collapsed by then? I think the first tower had either just went down or was about to. I do remember watching the second one go. I also don't remember the caption on the screen but it was something along the lines of "America Attacked". The next question people will be asking is "What did you feel on September 11, 2001?" My answer will be "Not much". At that point in my life I was very apathetic about everything. I didn't really care. I wasn't that angry. I wasn't that sad really. But that attack was the catalyst for my awakening. As it was for many of us. I remember the reports of missing planes.  One of them turning out to be United 93.  I remember watching the videos, over the next few days, of the people running from the collapsing buildings. People sitting on the curb covered in dust and blood drinking bottles of water. People in, I believe, Central Park gathering with an American flag and singing and crying. People putting pictures of loved ones on makeshift bulletin boards in hope of finding them alive. And this feeling started to wash over me. It was pride. I started to feel pride for my country for the first time in my life. These people who had just been attacked were saying "You've not beaten us". I began to pay attention to things that a month ago I wouldn't have cared less about.

There are people who remember that day all too well. I think that there are some people today who don't remember the feeling of that day. There are some who are too young to remember. And, sadly, there are people who only remember that day every election cycle. I'll remember that day as the start of the second phase of my life. I went from a 22 year old apathetic "kid" and become a, what, born again Patriot? A little cheesy maybe, but accurate.


Unknown said...

Not ;cheesy', it was and is true for so many of us, then and now.

and nicely done post, thank you.