Friday, September 11, 2009

Reflections on Terror


September 11, is an exceptionally sad day for me. 
On February 26, 1996, I visited the World Trade Center for lunch on a bitter cold day.  Sadly, I ate in the PATH Center, and left the coffee shop just at 12:17 PM.  The bomb blast went off, and sent me, and others, into the air.  The man I stood 20 feet from lay in a pool of his own blood—his ashen face indicated he was no more.  It was the worst day of my life.
Seeing people die in a wanton act such as bombing a building, to kill innocent people merely going about their business, tends to linger in the recesses of one’s mind.  It took several years to overcome the experience.  But eventually I overcame the tragedy, and restored my life.  Granted, it was never the same again.
On September 11, 2001, upon entering a 7-11 for a cup of coffee, I had no idea the unprovoked attack occurred.  The first thing I noticed was the owner of the store, a Pakistani, punching his fist.  His unexplained agitation stood out.  He knew what happened, and it didn’t make him, happy.  Since I had no knowledge of the tragic event, I couldn’t appreciate the tension of the moment.
While pouring my coffee, I glanced at the television mounted on the wall.  Stunned and shaken, I placed the lid on top to stare at the events.  One plane, then another crashed into the towers.  Mind-boggling.
I left the store and walked to my car, and called someone I knew in Florida to advise them of the incident.  I began shaking and crying.  I conducted business with some of the innocent people in that building—I hoped they were okay.
Soon the noxious odors I smelled during my terror encounter returned.  I relived the 1993 event in my memory.  The state of shock and existing in another unfeeling dimension overcame me.
The situation became progressively worse as the day progressed.  My depression increased with each additional piece of news.
The aftermath left many a family devastated.  My heart aches for them on this anniversary. 
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